Regional briefs

Mason County

Fire destroys home while owners away

A house north of Shelton was destroyed in a fire Thursday morning that officials think was caused by electrical problems.

The homeowners were away at the time of the fire; firefighters said the owners later were "distraught at the loss of their dogs," said Mason County Fire District 5 paramedic Victor Feist.

"The structure is still standing, but the home is probably a total loss," said Feist, who estimated damage to the 1,200-square-foot, single-story home at several hundred thousand dollars.

"The owners were told they couldn't occupy the structure; it's too dangerous," he said.

Feist, who had no word on the identity of the homeowners, said they were at the store when the call came in at 9:46 a.m. More than 25 firefighters from a half-dozen departments - including the Griffin Fire Department in Thurston County - responded to the call on John Prairie Road, Feist said.

"When firefighters got there, there were flames coming out of the window," he said.

Feist said firefighters were on the scene until about 3 p.m.


Deployment Fair focuses on soldiers' children

Resources to help families cope with separation from a soldier will be at the Children's Deployment Fair on Saturday in DuPont.

The fair will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chloe Clark Elementary, 1700 Palisade Blvd., off Exit 118 on Interstate 5.

Mental-health agencies will be available, as well as information about summer camps, youth sports organizations and more to help military families plan a summer that helps take children's minds off war.

There also will be free food, prizes, entertainment and a showing of the film "BRATS: Our Journey Home," a documentary about what it's like to grow up on military bases around the world. Director Donna Musil will introduce the film. For more information about the event, call Tommy Carson at 253-584-1212.


Trail Day to bring families out for biking and hiking

Thurston County Parks and Recreation will have its second annual Family Bike and Hike Trail Day on Saturday on the Chehalis Western Trail.

The event starts at 9 a.m. at the Chambers Lake trailhead, off of 14th Avenue near Sleater-Kinney Road, and ends at noon.

Participants can walk, bike, jog or in-line skate along the trail and get stretching tips and techniques. Information about bike clubs, women's clubs and the Friends of the Trails program will be available.


Port's annual chowder, nautical event Saturday

The Port of Olympia will have its 11th annual Swantown BoatSwap & Chowder Challenge from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Swantown Marina on the East Bay of Budd Inlet in Olympia.

The event includes chowder sampling and boat-gear sales. Commercial and private vendors can participate; call 360-528-8000 for rates and additional information, or send e-mail to boatswap@portolympia.com.

The Olympian