Flames destroy vacant home north of Battle Ground

Official stresses need to properly secure abandoned houses

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

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Fire destroyed an abandoned house just north of Battle Ground on Monday evening.

The house was on acreage near Northeast 249th Street and 132nd Avenue, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy of Clark County Fire & Rescue.

"Firefighters found an abandoned house well involved in fire" when they arrived about 5:49 p.m., Dawdy said.

He said 17 firefighters knocked the fire down and then went inside to investigate.

No one was hurt.

The department sent three engines, a ladder truck and a rescue unit, along with three chiefs, Dawdy said.

"I would say this house is totaled," Dawdy said. He said he would estimate the house was valued at $60,000. An exact address was not available. "The house was in bad repair," he said

"Abandoned houses are very, very dangerous," Dawdy said. He said "it's so important for landowners to properly secure abandoned houses."

That means using plywood to nail windows shut "so people don't get in and start fires," he said.

Dawdy said Battle Ground police have told him that transients have squatted in the house.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. A fire marshal was at the scene Monday night.