Hazel Dell fire accidental, investigator says

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A Monday afternoon fire that heavily damaged a west Hazel Dell house was caused either by a smoker’s carelessness or by work being done on a car in the backyard, an investigator said Wednesday.

Clark County Deputy Fire Marshal Richard Martin said people at 815 N.W. 72nd St. had been welding and grinding cars in the hour the fire was discovered.

The fire probably started under a camper in the side yard and spread to storage items in the backyard, Martin said. Some trees next to the camper caught fire, spreading into the neighbor’s yard to the west.

After the fire spread to the patio, then the attic, it tore through the garage, kitchen, dining room and living room, leaving smoke damage throughout the house. An estimated value of the damage was not available.

Eight people in the house escaped injury, and no surrounding homes were damaged, Martin said.

Several containers of what is believed to be motor oil were stored in the garage and flowed into the street. Some of the material seeped into the storm sewer.