Since 1985 CiCi Carson, at the Westside Stables location has taught hundreds of kids on Vashon how to ride horses through her classes and Summer camps at Westside Stables. Sadly, on August 20, 2022 Vashon Fire & Rescue posted to their Facebook page that the VIFR team had worked into the late hours of the morning to extinguish a barn fire on CiCi’s property. The post read:
At 1:28 this morning, Vashon firefighters responded to Westside Highway for a reported building fire. Upon arrival crews found a horse barn and adjoining office with heavy fire and smoke coming from the structure. The VIFR team worked late into the morning to extinguish the structure and contents of the barn. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries and the horses were safely removed from the barn. Thank you to our partners at King County Medic One for their assistance.
The Vashon Island Beachcomber was quick to repost to their page, citing the incident and updating as the story unfolded. The Beachcomber spoke to Fire Chief Matt Vinci, who was on the scene. He said that no civilians, animals or firefighters were injured in the fire, and he praised the work of the first responders. He expressed that when he arrived, the fire was fully involved, and horses had already been safely moved to adjacent pastures. “All our staff who showed up were a dedicated group of people, they all worked hard and they all had specific roles,” he said. However, he said, more staffing is needed in the district — the crew of eight certified firefighters was not enough for the blaze.
Two days later, Island neighbors are doing everything they can to help including a work party that is planned for Saturday August 27, 2022, and Sunday, August 28, 2022, starting at 11:00 am PST at the Westside Stables location at 21200 Westside Hwy SW. If you plan to show up and help be sure to wear clothes that you can throw away after, a good solid pair of work boots as there are nails buried amongst the rubble, and wear gloves. The clean-up crew of volunteers is also in need of tools: Wheelbarrows, pitchforks, chain saws, hammers, buckets, etc.
The Isand community has started a fundraiser to help with the financial strain that CiCi’s family is enduring. In less than a day nearly $15,000 has been raised on GoFundMe to help CiCi rebuild. “There is an awful lot of clean up and care to be done for the displaced horses while things are reorganized and rebuilt,” Ashleigh Rauen said. “All of her tack, equipment, and tons of hay were lost in the fire.”
You can use the link below to direct you to the fundraiser.
Every little bit helps!