Firefighters extended 500 feet of fire hose from tenders down a windy hillside road on the island, and a firefighting boat from Tacoma assisted.

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VASHON ISLAND – Two beach houses on Vashon Island were destroyed by a fire early Tuesday, according to emergency services.

The blaze started at about 2 a.m. on the 19000 block of Sunset Road Southwest, which is on the west side of the island, according to Vashon Island Fire and Rescue. A man was in one of the homes when the fire broke out, and was not injured, while the other house was unoccupied, said Robert Larsen, assistant chief of the department.

Firefighters extended 500 feet of fire hose from tenders down a windy hillside road, and a 50-foot firefighting boat from the Tacoma Fire Department was called in, Larsen said. The fire was put out by 4:30 a.m., but there was still smoldering smoke visible on the hillside as of 8 a.m.

The King County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the fire.

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Numerous homes on the island aren’t within reach of a fire hydrant because they’re located in isolated areas, said Larsen. Three tenders, one holding 3,000 gallons and the other two holding 1,500 gallons each, were used, he said.

Larsen said that when island firefighters arrived at the scene, they were met by brush fire that had gone up 200 feet on the hillside.

“It was extremely difficult to approach,” he said.