UPDATE: Fire rips through Felida house

Downed power lines make scene dangerous

By Craig Brown and Patty Hastings

Published:

Updated: August 30, 2013, 11:24 PM

 
photoA plume of smoke pours from a fire in Felida on Friday evening. Power lines were down, making the fire more dangerous to fight.

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Two-alarm fire
photoThe 1955 two-story farmhouse recently sold for $255,600 to a Ridgefield resident, according to Clark County property records. Neighbors say workers had visited the house and were removing old materials, getting the house ready for a renovation.

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photoThe fire began in the southwest corner of the house, according to fire investigators. It quickly spread to nearby trees and power lines, and embers singed the lawn.

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photoPhotos by Steven Lane/The Columbian Firefighters battle the blaze that destroyed an unoccupied house Friday evening off Northwest 119th Avenue in Felida.

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photoAt one point, crews said over emergency radios that they were using all available water on the fire.

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A two-alarm fire ripped through a vacant Felida house Friday evening, downing power lines and spreading into trees. The house, which recently sold for $255,600, was considered a total loss by fire investigators.

Customers at the nearby Country Store off Northwest 119th Street first reported the smoke and flames at 5:25 p.m. They ran across a field to the property, 12010 N.W. 17th Ave.

When firefighters arrived, the southwest corner of the two-story farmhouse was covered in flames, said Sarah Mitchelson, spokeswoman for Fire District 6.

Flames coming out the roof jumped to nearby fir trees and brought down power lines. Clark Public Utilities turned off power to the house as firefighters fought the blaze from the outside. At one point, firefighters radioed they were putting all the water available onto the fire.

Sheriff’s deputies provided traffic control as the spectacular plume of smoke attracted crowds to Northwest 119th Street, which is a thoroughfare between Hazel Dell and Felida.

The fire was knocked down just before 6 p.m. Crews tore down sections of the house to ensure the fire was completely out, Mitchelson said. About 35 firefighters with Fire District 6, the Vancouver Fire Department, and Clark County Fire & Rescue responded.

No one was injured in the fire, though neighbors say raccoons and cats often hung out in the vacant house. The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating what caused the fire.

The house was apparently vacated by its former tenants at the end of May and put up for sale by Keller Williams. It sold on Aug. 13 for $255,600, according to Clark County property records, and was slated for renovation. The records list Kerry Greenwald of Ridgefield as the current owner.

In recent weeks, work crews had been hauling out old materials such as carpet, appliances and a fireplace. A trailer containing some of these materials also burned Friday evening. A couple of workers had come by the house earlier in the day, before the fire.

The house, built in 1955, sits at the end of the road in a mixed neighborhood of older houses and a new development by JB Homes called Burton Ridge.