Woman pulled from burning apartment dies

Blaze destroys two units in Vancouver four-plex

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

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A Vancouver woman died Sunday at a Portland hospital after she was pulled out of her burning apartment in the early morning hours.

Her name had not been released as of Sunday night.

The fire was reported at 1:23 a.m. at a four-plex at 2904 E. 16th St.

Three Vancouver police officers pulled the older woman from the fire, said Vancouver Fire Battalion Chief Dave Seabrook. She was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

Seabrook said fire crews responded within five minutes and “we had an unconscious patient in critical condition.”

“We arrived to heavy smoke showing from the first-floor apartment. The smoke changed to a heavy volume of flame,” Seabrook said. “The fire was pretty spectacular.”

Vancouver Police Sgt. Jon Pfister said officers heard that a person was trapped and were able to get to the apartment before firefighters.

“They kicked in the front door to the apartment. … There was fire in the room,” Pfister said.

“They went in and came out because the smoke was so heavy,” he said. They made another attempt and were able to pull the woman outside.

Pfister said the officers were not hurt. Their names were not released.

The woman’s dog died in the fire, Seabrook said.

He said two of the apartments were ruined and two were damaged. He listed damage at $150,000.

He said residents in the other three apartments were displaced and were receiving help from the Red Cross.

Three engines, two ladder trucks and 23 firefighters fought the blaze.

Seabrook praised those responding: police, Vancouver Fire, Fire District 6, AMR and the Red Cross.

The cause is under investigation.