SELAH, Wash. — Art and Sylvia Weier came home to an unpleasant surprise Monday afternoon — their house and its contents were destroyed by fire.
The couple were in town for physical therapy and running errands when their house in the 100 block of Anderson Road, just north of Selah, caught fire for unknown reasons.
“I found it just when I drove up,” said 86-year-old Sylvia Weier as she and her husband sat in their car while firefighters put out hot spots. “I don’t know what’s worse, to come home and see it yourself, or have someone call and tell you.”
The couple had lived in the home for more than four decades, and it was the first house fire the couple experienced.
“I guess you get to have a lot of firsts in your life,” she said, before jokingly asking a neighbor, “You want to buy a house?”
Crews continued to douse hot spots at 5 p.m. while the couple watched from their car at the base of the hill their home sat on. Charred smoldering chunks of wood and twisted metal were scattered atop and around the foundation of the leveled structure.
As firefighters mopped up, Sylvia Weier was trying reach her daughter to make living arrangements.
The fire call came in about 2:25 p.m., about the time Selah firefighters arrived at another call 10 miles north on Boyd Road in the Wenas Valley, said Selah Battalion Chief Jim Martin.
“About the time we arrived on that one, we got the call on this one,” and were able to divert quickly to the Anderson Road fire.
Meanwhile, firefighters from Naches, Gleed, the Yakima Training Center, East Valley and West Valley responded, fearing that someone may have been inside, Martin said. About 35 firefighters in all responded, he said.
Art Weier, 89, often stays home while his wife goes into town for medical appointments, said Yakima County Fire Marshal Ron Rutherford.
“Today he went,” Rutherford said.
A preliminary investigation did not yield any cause, he said.
“Everything in the house, appliances, was working fine,” Rutherford said at the scene. “They are just in awe.”
An estimate on the value of the three-bedroom, 1,431-square-foot home and its contents had yet to be determined, Martin said.
“We’ve lived here 45 years,” Sylvia Weier said. “It just isn’t the house so much that bothers me. It’s everything that we had in there. This is all we have — what we’re wearing. I don’t even have pajamas.”
However, she said she was happy no one was home at the time of the blaze.
“Nobody’s hurt, that’s the main thing,” she said.
• Phil Ferolito can be reached at 509-577-7749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• This online article has been updated to correct the spelling of Sylvia Weier’s first name.