Three escape Battle Ground house fire without serious injury

Son pushes father to safety in wheelchair; family’s dog revived

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance


Updated: November 27, 2012, 5:51 PM


Three people escaped an early morning house fire in Battle Ground without serious injury.

The fire was reported around 5:50 a.m. at 206 S.E. Fourth St., Battle Ground, according to emergency dispatch logs.

Clark County Fire & Rescue and Clark County Fire District 3 responded.

Catherine Hughes, who lives in the house with her husband and adult son, said she heard some banging and popping sounds in the back room. When she went to check on the noise, she saw flames and smoke. She yelled to wake up her son and husband, who were asleep in bedrooms down the hall.

Steve Hughes said he woke up to his mom screaming and saw flames coming from the laundry room. He got his dad, Walter Hughes, up and into a wheelchair and pushed him down the hallway past flames and smoke. He said the inside of the house was very hot.

“I didn’t think we would have made it,” he said.

He pushed his dad down steps in front of the home — his wheelchair ramp was outside the utility room that was engulfed in flames. Steve scraped his feet on rocks outside the house but was able to get his dad away from the house.

“They just barely got out,” said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy of CCF&R.

Capt. Todd Kays, also with CCF&R, said his engine crew arrived to find light smoke coming out of the structure. They were told two dogs were trapped inside.

Crews knocked out the flames and entered the house. They found one dog unconscious on the floor in a bedroom and another OK in the front of the house, Kays said.

“I wasn’t sure if he was alive or dead,” he said.

Crews were able to revive the dog. Catherine then took it to an animal hospital in Orchards.

He’ll be OK,” she said of the black German Shepherd named Baron.

The other dog, a miniature Yorkie, was fine, Catherine said.

Dawdy said the home had no working smoke detectors.

“We’re so lucky someone didn’t get killed in this (fire),” he said.

The house was still standing but seriously damaged. The ceiling was charred black from the heat.

“They will need to rebuild the house,” Dawdy said.

The American Red Cross of Southwest Washington is assisting.

Paul Suarez: 360-735-4522;;