Fire damages Habitat for Humanity home

Two teen girls escape unharmed

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: September 4, 2012, 6:38 PM

 
photoClark County Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Hill responds to a Salmon Creek house Tuesday morning after a fire caused significant damage to the structure.

(/The Columbian)

Buy this photo
photoFirefighters on Tuesday morning work to clean up a Salmon Creek house after an early morning fire caused significant damage.

(/The Columbian)

Buy this photo

An early morning fire on Tuesday left a Salmon Creek Habitat for Humanity home uninhabitable.

The fire sparked around 5:45 a.m. in a bathroom on the first floor of the two-story house at 915 N.E. Tenney Road. The house is one of five in Evergreen Habitat for Humanity’s Tenny Commons complex across the street from the Salmon Creek Fred Meyer.

Rhonda Parker, who lives in the home, said she had just returned from taking her friend, homeowner Tammy Lacy, to work in Janzten Beach. Parker went into the house and saw the fire was “out of control.”

“Something was definitely fueling it,” she said.

Firefighters with Clark County Fire District 6 and the Vancouver Fire Department arrived within minutes and found smoke coming from the house. Crews knocked out the fire within five minutes, but it had already caused “considerable damage” to the house, said Fire District 6 Chief Jerry Green.

The green home was still standing but charred inside.

No one was reported injured.

Lacy’s two children, Lashay Wesley, 14, and Tatayana Wesley, 13, were asleep in the house at the time of the fire. Tatayana said she woke up to the smell of smoke and — at first — thought someone had burned something while cooking in the kitchen. When she went downstairs, she saw the bathroom was on fire and left the home with her sister.

The family had practiced what to do if there was a fire, Tammy Lacy said. She was glad no one was hurt and that they had working smoke alarms.

“Thank God for fire alarms,” she said. “That’s a blessing.”

Both eastbound lanes on Tenney Road were blocked by fire vehicles until about 7:10 a.m., when one lane reopened. All lanes were clear later in the morning.

Neighbors in the complex brought blankets, shoes and warm drinks to Parker and the two girls. They stayed with the group while firefighters worked to check for smoldering materials in the home and a Clark County fire marshal investigated.

The American Red Cross of Southwest Washington responded to assist the family, which has homeowners insurance.

Paul Suarez: 360-735-4522; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops; paul.suarez@columbian.com.