TULALIP — A major fire in the 3200 block of Mission Beach Road on the Tulalip Reservation engulfed at least three houses Saturday night, sending up flames and a glow that could be seen in the dark sky from blocks away.
A downed power line caught one house on fire around 9:35 p.m. , according to witnesses. Heavy, 50-mph winds immediately spread the fire to neighboring houses on a bluff overlooking Possession Sound.
Saturday night, the wind coming off the water was strong enough to make cars shudder and shake, those on the scene said. The gusts threw flames and smoke across the road, potentially threatening other houses. Firefighters were considering evacuating residents, given the severe weather conditions.
"It could not have happened on a worse night," said Nick Chapman, who lives a few houses away from the fire.
The extreme winds were also hampering firefighting efforts. Water coming from hoses trained on blazing homes was blown back into the faces of firefighters. They were treating the fire defensively — not yet daring to go into the houses because of heavy flames.
Engines and water tenders from Tulalip Bay, Marysville, Warm Beach, Stanwood and Lake Stevens were called to the fire, which was still fully involved late Saturday night.