(Steven Lane/The Columbian)
A firefighter was treated for exhaustion and dehydration after fighting flames from a fully engulfed two-story house on the border of Vancouver and Camas.
The Camas-Washougal Fire Department crew member was sent to an area emergency room and treated for fatigue and dehydration.
The fire was reported by a passer-by at 2:26 p.m. in a house near the intersection of Southeast 195th Avenue and Bybee Road. The house was boarded up and was vacant, said Camas-Washougal Battalion Chief Allen Wolk.
Vancouver Fire Department assisted in attacking the blaze.
Plumes of black smoke could be seen for several blocks, including from Camas Fire Department Station 42.
The house is located at 19319 S.E. 15th St., Camas and sits on six acres of land. The house has no monetary value, according to county property records.
Firefighters attacked the blaze defensively and did not enter the structure, Wolk said.
The owner of the property is listed as Grandview Property Investment Group II LLC with a mailing address in Portland. A message left at the company’s listed phone number was not returned.
Neighbor Dixie Matson said that the house hadn’t been lived in for at least five years, and in recent years it had become the target of vandalism.
"Windows had been broken out,” she said. “I would suspect people have been getting in there.”
This is the fourth fire at a vacant Clark County house in the month of April. A vacant house on Northeast 124th Avenue north of Fourth Plain Boulevard was destroyed on April 3. Fire also severely damaged an empty house at 7817 N.E. 379th St. La Center on April 13. Another vacant house at 16800 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd. caught fire and was severely damaged on April 15.
Richard Martin, Assistant Clark County Fire Marshal, said that investigators compare notes with Vancouver Fire Marshals Office and so far haven’t found anything to connect the various fires.
When investigating these fires, “sometimes we see evidence of multiple fires that were started,” he said. “Which one caused it? It’s always hard to say.”