(Capt. Scott Willis/Vancouver Fire Department)
A candle is thought to have started a fire early Sunday morning that caused major damage to two four-plex apartment buildings at 11111 N.E. 48th Circle.
The fire was so hot that the occupants, a man and woman, each jumped to safety from the second story, said Capt. Kevin Murray of the Vancouver Fire Department.
The blaze broke out at 4:45 a.m. Flames were showing in the upstairs units, and a second alarm was called.
Damage was estimated at $280,000, including $50,000 in damage to a second four-plex across the courtyard from the main fire.
Two occupants of the upstairs apartment were treated for minor smoke inhalation.
Seven people were displaced from the units. They were being helped by the American Red Cross.
The blaze melted the siding and broke windows on the four-plex across the courtyard, Murray said.
Damage was put at $150,000 to the four-plex and $80,000 to its contents; the second four-plex sustained another $50,000 in damage.
About 25 firefighters responded to the two-alarm fire. Fire District 6 provided assistance.
“The safety message here is, when you leave a room with a candle, always put it out, Murray said.