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Portable space heater caused Vancouver house fire

The Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office determined that a house fire Saturday in the Mountain View neighborhood was likely caused by a portable space heater.

Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said the fire was ruled an accident. It burned an estimated $154,183 worth of property and belongings, she said.

Crews with the Vancouver Fire Department were dispatched shortly before 9 a.m. to 14125 S.E. 11th Street for a report of a residential fire. The first crew arrived within 4½ minutes.

According to a press release, firefighters found smoke and flames coming from a second-story window. Firefighters stretched a hose line to the front of the house to attack the blaze from outside until additional help arrived. Fire crews then deployed hose lines to the second story of the split-level house while checking to see if it had spread to the attic.

The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes. No one was home at the time of the fire, officials said.

Scarpelli described the fire as electrical in nature. She declined to provide details but noted that the source of origin was near a space heater and power strip in a bedroom.

The fire marshal encouraged people to clear at least 3 feet of space around portable space heaters. She said homeowners with installed heaters should also begin checking for items around heat sources, as temperatures are starting to dip.

“Everyone should go through their homes and check around for issues,” Scarpelli said.


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