A mother and her 3-year-old son were left without a home Friday morning after a fire consumed their half of a Vancouver duplex.
What ended up as a scary situation started as child’s play in a side bedroom, the mother said.
Kisha Hoover said she was in the kitchen of her Maplewood neighborhood home, pulling meat out of the freezer, when her son ran up to her with a lighter in his hands and said, “Oops.”
He’d been playing with the lighter and set the top part of a bunk bed on fire.
Hoover said she didn’t know how her son got the red Bic lighter, but two minutes later, the bedroom was engulfed in flames, she said. After rushing outside with her son, she broke the bedroom’s window, hitched up a hose, then another, and began spraying water into the room.
“We had the hoses going so we could protect my neighbor’s house,” Hoover said. “I knew mine was done.”
The Vancouver Fire Department received multiple calls from people who saw smoke billowing out of the one-story wooden building at 2723-25 E. 19th St. Firefighters from the Vancouver Fire Department and Fire District 6 were dispatched at 11:23 a.m.
The fire spread into the attic, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian.
Firefighters cut power to the structure and climbed onto the duplex’s roof to put out the fire.
They were able to knock down the fire in five minutes, Vancouver Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Lines said.
As smoke poured out of the duplex’s roof and windows and firefighters entered the charred home, Hoover and other people watched from a nearby sidewalk.
Lines said the duplex unit that caught fire was likely a total loss. It smoldered long after firefighters put out the flames.
The attached duplex suffered severe smoke damage, he said.
A Vancouver Fire Department fire marshal was at the scene to investigate the cause of the fire.
The fire department said Friday afternoon that a report into the fire remained open.