A fire that destroyed a detached garage at a home in Battle Ground on Tuesday was likely caused by a malfunctioning refrigerator, according to the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office.
“It more likely than not was started by the fridge, but we haven’t determined a specific failure. There have been other reports of these types of fires, and it lines up with those accounts,” Deputy Fire Marshal Caleb Barnes said.
Emergency responders were dispatched at 7:33 a.m. to the 8500 block of Northeast 199th Street for a report of a residential fire.
A dispatcher told firefighters en route to the address that a caller reported vehicles had been removed from the garage, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.
The garage was about 15 feet from a home, so it was at risk of also catching fire, according to a fire department news release. There were four people inside the residence, according to the scanner.
When the first fire engine arrived, firefighters found the garage engulfed in flames, which were already shooting through the roof, Barnes said.
The garage and its contents were completely destroyed. The owners removed their vehicles, but a snowmobile and personal watercraft were ruined, according to the fire marshal.
The failure in the refrigerator may have happened at the back and bottom of it, near the compressor, Barnes said.
“It lines up perfectly with the (fire’s) point of origin,” he said.