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Clark County fire marshal says shop fire likely caused by electrical issue

An electrical issue likely caused a blaze Saturday night that destroyed half a large garage northeast of the Washington State University Vancouver campus, according to the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office.

The fire marshal’s office is continuing to investigate. Deputy Clark County Fire Marshal Jason Knoble said investigators are still trying to determine where the issue originated.

The fire was reported at 7:56 p.m. in the 16300 block of Northeast Leaper Road. Four Clark County fire departments responded, Clark County Fire & Rescue Chief John Nohr said.

Seven engines and three water tenders were dispatched to what Nohr described as a large outbuilding or shop. The building is so large that when it was built, it required a fire wall down the middle, he said.

The fire wall effectively prevented the fire from spreading though the entire structure, Clark County Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Brett Graham said.

“The rest of the shop is all saved,” Graham said.

Two motorhomes and other unidentifiable contents were destroyed in the burnt half of the building, Nohr said.

The fire was called in by a resident in the area, who heard explosions that were likely gas cans exploding in the building, Nohr said. The shop had been burning for some time when firefighters arrived. The property was also difficult to access; waterlines had to be pulled to the shop from a distance, he said.

It took about 45 minutes to get the fire under control, Graham said.


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