Cigarettes cause fire that damages local home

Smoke detectors were not working

By Heather Acheson, Columbian staff writer

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Cigarette butts left in a plastic bucket are believed to be the cause of a fire that seriously damaged a Washougal home.

At approximately 1:40 a.m. on Monday emergency units from the Camas-Washougal Fire Department and East County Fire and Rescue responded to a single story house fire in Washougal at 1290 Fairway Drive. The fire started on the back deck where the homeowner was using a plastic bucket for her cigarette butts.

According to CWFD Battalion Chief Mark Ervin, fire crews made an initial knock down of the fire and quickly limited further extension and damage in the attic where fire had entered through the ventilation screens.

The fire caused significant interior damage as well as damage to the neighbor’s house from radiant heat. Damage is estimated to be in the range of $75,000 to $100,000.

CWFD Deputy Fire Marshal Randy Miller said the home was not equipped with residential fire sprinklers and the smoke detectors did not appear to be functioning.

“The homeowners were fortunate to have made it out of the home alive,” he said.

According to Clark County property records, the ranch- style 1,588 square foot home is owned by Lee Lupfer and Elizabeth G. Allen.