UPDATE: Firefighters find home in flames; resident suffers medical problem

About 22 firefighters from 3 departments work late into night, this morning

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Updated: June 17, 2011, 12:16 AM

 

Shortly before dark on Thursday, firefighters rushed to a two-story house in flames at 10806 N.E. 222nd Ave. in the Hockinson area of eastern Clark County.

Fire District 3 was called at 8:20 p.m., and the Vancouver Fire Department sent engine and ladder trucks and crews as well.

Members of East County Fire & Rescue also worked at the scene, an official confirmed.

The first crews arrived in seven minutes.

Firefighters arrived to find both floors of the home in flames and said all occupants had gotten outside safely.

About 10:20 p.m., a man at the scene, possibly a member of the family that lives there, developed a medical problem. The man was not injured in the fire itself, an official said. He was taken by AMR Northwest ambulance to a hospital, an official confirmed.

The man was considered in serious condition, said Capt. Chris Moen with the Vancouver Fire Department.

Commanders called for a second ambulance to come to the scene on standby.

No hydrant was nearby, so commanders on arrival called for water tenders, with large tanks, and for crews to ferry water from the nearest supply.

Commanders radioed quickly that the largest flames were knocked down, but it was clear the home was heavily damaged.

"The damage is substantial if not a complete loss," Moen said late Thursday night.

Firefighters spent much time sending in water from outside, but crews were able to go inside with their hoses at some points, focusing on specific areas, and that helped to stop the blaze.

Flames had burned though parts of the second-story floor, making it too dangerous for firefighters to work there. This morning, with the building cooling and daylight, fire marshals may be able to go inside and work on determining the cause and dollar damage estimate, Moen said.

The good-sized home had been remodeled with additions, making it a complex building for firefighters to work in, Moen said.

Moen said he was told three people are displaced by the fire. They arranged a place to stay with family members.

With the first fire crews getting hot and tired after the initial callout, officials brought a rehab bus to the scene, where firefighters could rest, get rehydrated and have their temperatures and blood pressures checked.

Moen said he believed the rehab bus came from East County Fire & Rescue and was staffed by folks from that fire department, which depends on many unpaid volunteers.

Firefighters spent hours making sure any smoldering areas were pulled apart and doused.

"It's going to be a tiresome night for crews, I'm sure," Moen said shortly before midnight, adding that crews would remain on scene for hours, watching for any remaining smoldering areas or flareups.

Moen said the house is believed to be within Fire District 5, protected under contract by the Vancouver Fire Department.

"We had a ton of help from Fire District 3 and East County Fire & Rescue," Moen said.

The property owner is William G. Matson and the home was built in 1942, according to county records.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.