A backyard fire that spread into the attic of a VanMall neighborhood duplex caused an estimated $55,000 in damage Thursday evening.
Fire crews arrived at 5515 N.E. 89th Ave. around 5:26 p.m. Three engines, two trucks and 17 firefighters responded. They found smoke and flames coming out of the roof vents, said Kevin Stromberg, spokesman for Vancouver Fire.
A neighbor had alerted one family in the duplex that there was a fire in their backyard. Both families —nine people total — evacuated before crews arrived. By then, the fire had spread to the attic.
Firefighters entered the burning building and tried to confine the fire to the attic. The fire was under control in 15 minutes. At The Columbian’s press time, the cause was undetermined, although an improperly disposed of cigarette is suspected, Stromberg said.
Vancouver Police, American Medical Response and the Red Cross later arrived on scene.