by: Nick McGurk Updated:
OKANOGAN CO., Wash. - 'High' number of uninsured homeowners after fire
The number of fire victims who didn’t have fire insurance is “high,” according to one expert.
"Every day I encounter people who lost everything, with no insurance, and that's bad,” said disaster reservist Hank Cramer with Washington State Emergency Management.
As Okanogan County officials tally how many of the 300 homes destroyed by the Carlton Complex Fire were uninsured, Cramer thinks the number will be larger than people think.
"Usually, homeowner’s insurance covers you for a fire. But out in this area, in many cases, people can't get insurance because they live in such a rural area, so far from the fire station, so far from the fire hydrant, that the insurance company simply won't write a policy for them,” said Cramer.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, Cramer says, is more likely to grant emergency aid if the number of uninsured homeowners is high.
Shane Horton is one of those homeowners who didn’t have insurance – and now no longer has a home.
"It's definitely a gut-wrenching feeling, you know, like somebody just punched you in the gut,” said Horton.