A man who was using a propane torch to go after weeds at his home in the Fisher’s Landing East neighborhood caused $75,000 in damage after flames spread to an arborvitae tree and up into the attic.
The fire was reported at 1:46 p.m. at 17212 S.E. 25th Way and firefighters arrived in just more than five minutes. The house is not far from the Hewlett-Packard campus north of Southeast 34th Street.
According to radio traffic monitored at The Columbian, the fire spread into the attic and above the garage area of the home. It later extended to the roof.
The house was heavily damaged, but much of its contents are salvageable, said Capt. Dave James with the Vancouver Fire Department.
No one was reported injured. Flames also ignited the home’s vinyl siding, so it took firefighters about 40 minutes to bring it under control.
Vancouver and Camas firefighters battled the fire. The owners are Wayne and Evelyn Flaming.
A former Vancouver firefighter, Jim Flaherty, has called arborvitae “roman candles” because of the dry, oily fuels inside and how quickly they can catch fire. Juniper bushes also catch fire quickly, James said.