Fire destroys Camas house (with videos)

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: April 23, 2013, 8:50 PM

 
House Fire

A fire destroyed a house Tuesday morning in east Camas.

The blaze was reported just before 11:30 a.m., said Camas Fire Chief Nick Swinhart.

Tracy Owens, who lives across the street, was getting into the car with her husband when she saw smoke coming from a side window of the two-story house at 1524 S.E. Seventh Ave., one block west of the Camas Community Center.

“I thought maybe they have a fireplace and looked up and saw they had no chimney,” she said. “I turned to my husband and screamed, ‘Their house is on fire!’ ”

Crews arriving on scene reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the first-floor porch. Ammunition in the house was exploding when they arrived.

The fire appears to have started on the first floor and spread to the second story and the roof, Swinhart said. Officials said the damage to the house makes it a total loss.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

No one was home when the fire started, but neighbors said the residence is usually home to at least three dogs and a few cats and chickens. Fire officials say they did not find any pets inside and so they were reported missing.

Units responded from Camas-Washougal and East County Fire & Rescue.

According to the Clark County property records, the house is owned by Thomas and Maria Drinkwater and was built in 1925.

The American Red Cross was called to assist the residents.