Two firefighters injured in Kelso blaze

By Craig Brown, Columbian metro editor

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A faith-based recovery center for people with addiction issues caught fire Sunday evening, injuring two firefighters.

According to a news release from Cowltiz 2 Fire & Rescue, the fire started as a chimney fire in a fireplace at the Mountain Ministries recovery center, which is located in the Rose Valley area southeast of Kelso.

The fire broke out just before 5 p.m. Sunday.

Two firefighter were taken to St. John Medical Center in Longview after they became exhausted while fighting the fire. They were not burned, but had overexerted themselves, according to the news release.

In all 25 firefighters used 14 apparatus to fight the fire, which extended from the chimney and spread to the roof of the recovery center, which is a 20-minute drive from a fire station.

The fire took more than five hours to control.

According to its website, Mountain Ministries offers a year-long residential program at the site for men and women with alcohol or drug problems. It's located on 35 timbered acres. Clients live in several different houses on the property.