Smoke coming from an abandoned nursing home in the heart of Battle Ground prompted a two-alarm fire call Sunday evening.
The elusive source was a burning mattress inside the U-shaped building at 103 N. Parkway Ave., across from Battle Ground High School.
A woman saw smoke and called 911 at 4:58 p.m., said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy of Fire Clark Fire & Rescue.
“They’ve had problems with transients going inside,” Dawdy said.
When firefighters could not find the source of the smoke, which was throughout the building, a second alarm was called.
Soon after, the mattress was discovered.
“It was deep inside the building,” Dawdy said.
About 30 firefighters from Clark County Fire & Rescue, Fire District 3 and Vancouver Fire responded, but many were called back after the mattress was found.
Dawdy said it could have been worse than simply smoke in the building.
“There’s a nice apartment community here, and those people were very concerned,” he said.
He said the building has been repossessed by a credit union, and the structure has been in disrepair.
A Clark County fire marshal and Battle Ground police are investigating. Firefighters stayed on the scene until about 8 p.m.
Dawdy said he was grateful the woman called in when she saw smoke.
“This could have been a real big deal,” he said.