Fire damages central Vancouver home

Blaze reported in Meadow Homes neighborhood

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A foam mattress placed next to a bedroom wall heater was blamed for a house fire Thursday afternoon that displaced two adults and three teenagers.

Firefighters doused the blaze at a single-story house in central Vancouver in less than 10 minutes.

All of the occupants of the house at 2113 Wahclellah Ave., in the Meadow Homes neighborhood, got themselves out of the house by the time the Vancouver Fire Department responded, about 1:40 p.m.

“Engine 5 was blocks away clearing a motor vehicle accident and so arrived in less than two minutes,” said Kevin Stromberg, firefighter and paramedic.

Arriving crews, which included 16 firefighters, arrived to find flames coming out of a front bedroom window and extinguished them in 10 minutes.

The three-bedroom house was built in 1956 and is just under 1,000 square feet, not including a 318-square-foot attached single-car garage, according to county property records. It is owned by Delwyn Roberts, who has a different mailing address in Vancouver.

There was heavy fire damage to the front bedroom of the house and smoke damage in the rest of the house, Stromberg said. The American Red Cross is assisting the five residents with housing while they are displaced.

Stromberg said the damage was estimated at $110,000. He did not know if the owner was insured.

He advised people to keep furniture and other items at least 2 feet away from any heater.

“With the cold temperatures, it’s just a good idea to check throughout the home to make sure there is plenty of clearance there,” Stromberg said.