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Electrical malfunction ignited Rose Village house fire

An electrical malfunction caused the house fire Saturday morning in Vancouver’s Rose Village neighborhood, according to a fire marshal.

The fire burned new school clothes and supplies of family members who’d been visiting the home, Vancouver Deputy Fire Marshal Chad Lawry said. Fire officials donated money for clothing and two backpacks of supplies for the kids, Lawry said.

Of the approximately $8,000 worth of damage the fire caused, most of that monetary amount was estimated from the school supplies and other destroyed personal belongings. The fire caused mostly superficial damage to a bedroom and limited electrical damage to the home, according to the fire marshal.

Vancouver fire crews were dispatched shortly before 10:15 a.m. to 3601 N St., for a report of a structure fire. The first engine arrived within four minutes and found smoke coming from a bedroom window and the front door, Vancouver Fire spokesman Joe Hudson said in an email.

Firefighters stretched a hose line to the window, where they first attacked the blaze from the outside and then pulled another hose line inside the home, Hudson said. The fire was out within five minutes. No one was injured, but Red Cross was requested to assist two displaced residents.

The electrical malfunction originated from an overloaded circuit on a malfunctioning circuit breaker in one room of the two-bedroom home, Lawry said.

The breaker had been painted over, which “violates its listing” and disables its function, he said. In other words, painting over the safety device is comparable to altering a personal electronic and voiding a warranty.

“(Painting) glues the panel into place, so it can’t easily pop open,” Lawry said.


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