Woman credited for calling in smoke scare in Battle Ground

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor



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.