A two-alarm fire caused extensive damage to a house south of Battle Ground on Wednesday morning.
The fire was reported just before 11 a.m. at 20210 N.E. 104th Ave. in the Winterlake subdivision, near the Meadow Glade neighborhood. Residents were in the home when the fire started but were not injured, neighbors said.
Engine 27 from Clark County Fire & Rescue was the first unit on the scene. Firefighters found fire in the garage and second floor of the home, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy, Clark County Fire & Rescue spokesman. The fire was “burning vigorously” and spread into the attic, he said.
Dale Remsing, who lives next to the burned home, saw people running out of the home immediately before the garage door collapsed. He said the neighbors, who just moved into the home in September, were eating a late breakfast, smelled smoke and left the home.
Others who live in the area ventured outside to investigate the black plume of smoke that could be seen belching from the home.
Within minutes, other units from Clark County Fire & Rescue, Fire District 3, the Vancouver Fire Department and Fire District 6 arrived. AMR ambulances stood by.
With a house fire, firefighters call in a special rescue unit with extra tools and air bottles and a rehab unit (a modified bus) to medically evaluate, hydrate and treat firefighters. AMR is called just in case a civilian is injured inside the home or a firefighter gets injured fighting the fire, Dawdy said.
Firefighters doused the blaze in the garage and second floor, ventilated the roof and began fighting the attic fire. Crews requested a second alarm at about 11:10 a.m. A few minutes later, a section of the roof collapsed.
Fire engines lined the street and were able to hook up to a nearby hydrant.
“It was really a blessing the hydrant was so close,” said Dawdy. “It helped the effort a lot.”
Firefighters knocked down the blaze by about 11:30 a.m. and began mop-up work. They packed things up and left around noon.
A standalone garage and pickup near the home appeared to be undamaged. The home was standing but seriously damaged. The fire spread fast because it spread into the attic, Dawdy said.
“Once a fire gets into an attic, it does a lot of damage,” because there are no divisions between rooms, Dawdy said.
Clark County Assistant Fire Marshal Richard Martin estimated later Wednesday that damage will total at least $200,000. The fire started in the garage and a pull-down stairway to the attic allowed flames to go up there quickly.
The home’s roof will have to be replaced and the attic was heavily damaged. Downstairs, smoke and water caused much damage, Martin said.
Martin said he was still working to determine exactly what caused the blaze.
The house is owned by Vladislav and Tatyana Semeryanov, according to county property records.
Staff writer John Branton contributed to this story.
Paul Suarez: 360-735-4522; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops; firstname.lastname@example.org.