East County Fire and Rescue crews extinguished a garage fire Thursday morning outside of Washougal city limits.
Firefighters were dispatched at 8:09 a.m. to a ranch-style house in the 35900 block of Southeast Evergreen Highway, north of state Highway 14.
The first crew to arrive told dispatchers there was an active fire in a garage. Fire Chief Michael Carnes said the garage, or shop, was not attached to the home.
As more firefighters arrived on scene, additional water tenders were requested because there were no nearby fire hydrants, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian. Carnes said the nearest hydrant was about 1,000 yards away, which is not uncommon in rural parts of the county.
Firefighters entered the garage but retreated after noticing a side of the building was starting to slump and being unsure about the stability of the roof, Carnes said. They hosed the flames from the outside.
The fire rekindled once in the attic space above the garage, but it was extinguished in 30 minutes.
A total of 10 fire units responded, although two Vancouver units were called off before they made it there.
Carnes said the firefighters likely saved the building from being destroyed.
“It’s not a total loss, but the owner definitely lost some equipment, like saws and other supplies,” he said.
The Camas-Washougal fire marshal is investigating the cause.