Woman escapes fire that destroys Ridgefield mobile home

By Paul Suarez, Columbian freelance

Published:

Updated: September 10, 2012, 9:39 PM

 
photoA woman escaped, but fire destroyed this mobile home in Ridgefield early Monday morning.

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A woman escaped a fire in a Ridgefield mobile home early Monday but had to drive to a nearby gas station to report the blaze.

The fire was reported at 3:15 a.m. at 5007 N. 10th St. in Ridgefield, according to emergency dispatch logs.

Minutes earlier a woman was asleep in the home when a smoke detector woke her up, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy, spokesman for Clark County Fire & Rescue. The woman grabbed a few personal belongings and went outside. She went back in to get more items but left after she saw flames inside, Dawdy said. She didn’t have a cellphone and drove to a gas station at the nearby Ridgefield Junction to report the fire.

When firefighters arrived, the home was engulfed in flames and the roof was collapsing, Dawdy said. The 16-person crew set up a defensive attack to prevent the fire from spreading but the structure was a total loss.

“Mobile homes burn notoriously fast anyway and this one had a big head start,” Dawdy said.

Capt. Ben Meacham, who was on the scene, said the smoke detector saved the woman’s life. He suggests people check to make sure they have working smoke detectors in their homes.

The woman is lucky to be alive Dawdy, said.

Bringing belongings outside is a very human thing to do but “you should never re-enter a house that’s on fire,” he said. “She’s very lucky to have survived that.”

According to county property records, the owners of the mobile home are Robert and Linda Darrow, who have a Battle Ground mailing address.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.