Firefighters extinguish house fire in Burnt Bridge Creek neighborhood

Man saves four dogs, birds from blaze

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: February 7, 2012, 8:01 AM

 

Firefighters extinguished a house fire early Tuesday as a resident ran inside to save his pets, officials said.

The fire was reported just before 6 a.m. at 14003 N.E. 42nd St. in the Burnt Bridge Creek neighborhood. Four engines, one ladder truck and two battalion chiefs from the Vancouver Fire Department responded.

When the first crew arrived, it saw flames in a front bedroom and two adult occupants outside, said Joe Spatz, a Vancouver Fire Department spokesman.

One of the two adults bolted inside after firefighters arrived, Spatz said, adding that there was thick smoke down to the floor inside the home.

At that point, the response changed from fire control to search and rescue, Spatz said.

Firefighters were unable to find the man in the home. He apparently ran inside to rescue pets and was later found in the backyard with several birds and four dogs. Firefighters on scene told Spatz that they didn't rescue the pets.

The resident was able to walk and evaluated by an ambulance crew, Spatz said. He was not taken to the hospital.

"A lot of things happened simultaneously," Spatz said.

A second engine took an attack line through the front door and extinguished the bedroom fire within 10 minutes.

The fire was contained in the front bedroom and didn't extend to the attic. Firefighters cut a hole in the roof to let smoke out, Spatz said.

The Red Cross and animal control were called to assist. Neighbors took the animals into their homes to keep them warm.

A woman in the home said she woke up to her smoke detectors going off, Spatz said. By that time, smoke was already to her bed level but she was able to get out with the other occupant safely.

The investigator said the cause of the fire was electrical, Spatz said. A damage estimate will be available later Tuesday.

This story will be updated.