Rochester Home Likely a Total Loss After Tuesday Fire

By The Chronicle

No one was injured when a Rochester home was seriously damaged by fire Tuesday morning, according to the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority.

The fire was first reported at 10:49 a.m. in the 8500 block of James Road Southwest in Rochester.

The cause is under investigation, but it appears to be accidental, West Thurston Chief Russ Kaleiwahea said.

Fire Crews from the West Thurston Regional Fire Authority, the Riverside Fire Authority, the East Olympia, Black Lake and McLane fire districts from Thurston County, and a Grays Harbor county fire crew spent approximately six hours at the scene working to get the fire under control, Kaleiwahea said.

“It was an older structure that had been renovated or added onto a number of times over the years,” Kaleiwahea said.

Rather than sheetrock, many of the walls were made of solid wood shiplap, he said.

“The construction type made the fire difficult to bring under control,” he said.

One person was in the home when the fire started and was able to exit without injury.

“It was occupied by one person who noticed smoke and they suggested they heard some kind of a pop or small explosion,” Kaleiwahea said.

The resident attempted to put out the fire before crews arrived but was unsuccessful, he said.

While the home is likely a total loss, crews were able to save some items in the home. Kaleiwahea said he believes the home was not insured.

An online crowdfunding account has been set up at to help the resident.