A 15-year-old Ocean Park boy died in a mobile home fire just after midnight Monday morning, the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The sheriff’s office tentatively identified the boy as Kenneth Strickland, a sophomore at Ilwaco Middle-High School. Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock said an official identification will follow an autopsy.
Firefighters were called to the boy’s home in the 2200 block of 177th Lane just after midnight, Matlock said. They found a mobile home engulfed in flames. The boy’s father and sister made it out of the home, but the boy didn’t, Matlock said.
The boy’s sister, an eighth-grader at Ilwaco Middle-High School, awoke because she was coughing and felt hot. When she realized the home was burning, she crawled out her bedroom window and banged on her brother’s window, but she was unable to stir him, Matlock said.
Investigators, who have yet to determine the fire’s cause, continued their work at the scene until late Tuesday afternoon. Matlock said a clothes dryer was said to be running in the home late Monday night, but it was not yet determined if it ignited the fire. Nothing about the fire suggests arson, he said.
Ilwaco High School Principal David Tobin said psychologists and local pastors provided grief counseling to students at the school Monday. “A “fair number” of students participated, he said.
Tobin said Kenneth was well-liked and often “had a smile on his face.”
“He had a good number of friends,” Tobin said. “He was a nice, nice, nice kid.”
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