A March 30 barn fire near Battle Ground was caused by a heat lamp positioned too close to a container for baby chicks, according to the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The lamp was meant to provide heat for chicks inside a plastic container but wasn’t given enough space, Deputy Fire Marshal Rick Serls said. The fire quickly spread around the barn due to copious amounts of hay inside, Serls said.
The deputy fire marshal estimated that the fire caused $120,000 worth of damage. He reminded people to be cautious about the placement of portable heaters.
Clark County Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched at 7:09 p.m. to 6742 N.E. 239th St., west of Battle Ground, for a report of an outbuilding on fire. Multiple callers reported hearing explosions and seeing fire from a distance, according to a news release.
The first crew arrived in six minutes and found a 30-by-60 foot, three-baydoor barn with heavy fire and smoke showing. There were animals in the barn, but they had all escaped safely before firefighters reached the property, according to the fire department. All that was left inside the building was equipment and hay.
Firefighters initially conducted defensive fire tactics, dousing the flames from the outside because of too much fire and the building’s structural instability, the fire department said.
Additional crews arrived to help, and the fire was brought under control in 20 minutes. The fire proved somewhat difficult due to the hay, Serls said.
Crews were then able to go into the building to fully extinguish the fire. Firefighters remained on scene for four additional hours to investigate and ensure full extinguishment.