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Two Fourth of July house fires displace 11 in Vancouver

The Fourth of July meant an expectedly busy night for fire crews across Clark County.

In addition to multiple brush fires, the Vancouver Fire Department responded to two house fires that displaced a total of 11 people. In both instances, neighbors with garden hoses helped prevent more serious damage.

The first occurred at 10:51 p.m. at 6508 N.E. 104th Place off Covington Road. The fire started outside the residence, burned up vinyl siding then threatened to reach the attic, according to a VFD statement.

Four engines and a ladder truck responded. Upon arrival, they found the fire had been extinguished by a neighbor using a garden hose.

No injuries were reported. Seven residents were displaced and assisted by the American Red Cross.

The second fire occurred at 12:45 a.m. at 3203 Watson Ave., a single-story duplex in Rose Village. Two engines and two ladder trucks from VFD were assisted by one engine from Clark County Fire District 6.

When fire crews arrived, they found the fire on the exterior of the duplex had been extinguished with a garden hose. Flames were burning in the attic, however.

Crews were on scene for about 90 minutes before the attic fire and possible hot spots were extinguished. No injures were reported, but four residents were displaced.

An official cause of those fires remains under investigation by the Vancouver Fire Marshall’s Office.

In addition to those structure fires, there were many close calls.

Camas-Washougal Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Payne said crews there responded to 25 calls.

No structures were damaged, but many grass fires and a dumpster fire in downtown Camas kept fire crews busy.

“There were several that were real close,” Payne said.

Fire District 3 crews responded to four fires in northeast Clark County, according to Battle Ground Fire Marshall Chris Drone. The most serious destroyed an outbuilding.

Fire District 6, which covers Hazel Dell, Salmon Creek and Felida, responded to 14 calls. Fire district spokesman Dave Schmitke said no structures were damaged, but many of the calls involved teachable moments.

He described a call to N.W. 86th Street where spent fireworks were placed in a trash can, which ignited the rubbish inside.

Schmitke said that’s a reminder to always soak spent fireworks in a bucket of water before disposal.


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