Fires destroy storage sheds

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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Three storage sheds were destroyed in two separate fires Wednesday in Amboy and La Center.

At 1:20 p.m., two storage sheds caught fire at 42510 N.E. 256th Ave. in Amboy. The detached storage sheds, estimated to be about 10 feet by 12 feet, and 8 feet apart with a breezeway roof between them, were engulfed in flames when crews from Fire District 10 arrived with an engine and a water tender, said Chief Gordon Brooks.

Firefighters got the fire under control in 20 minutes, but sheds and their contents were destroyed. Brooks said one shed had been full of gardening equipment, while the other was used as a general storage shed.

The cause has not been determined, and the Clark County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire. However, Brooks said it appears to be an accidental fire caused by gardening chemicals.

Many outdoor gardening and housing materials are highly flammable, such as oil-based paints, wood stains, linseed oil, some weed-killers, garden fungicides and fertilizers. Brooks recommends storing flammable materials in tightly sealed containers.

Later in the day, at 5:43 p.m., a storage shed caught fire at 2011 N.E. 373rd St. in La Center. When firefighters arrived, the tin roof of the shed had already caved in from the flames, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy, spokesman for Clark County Fire & Rescue. Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to other buildings, but the shed and its contents were destroyed.

The shed was full of the homeowner's hobby equipment and sporting goods.

The fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of the fire.

--Patty Hastings