Fire tore through a split-level house Monday evening in the Sunnyside neighborhood, leaving the structure uninhabitable.
The fire was reported at 5:22 p.m. at 11505 N.E. 94th St., about a block west of the EastRidge Business Park. According to dispatchers, the caller sounded confused and reported heavy black smoke in the basement.
A large column of smoke could be seen from five miles away by Vancouver firefighters in the first arriving engine, said Battalion Chief Dave Seabrook.
They arrived to find flames erupting from the east side and rear of the house. The fire had broken most of the windows in the house.
After firefighters knocked down the flames from the outside, they moved inside and cut a hole in the roof to ventilate the smoke and remaining hot spots, Seabrook said. The house was so damaged that they had to work carefully, checking for weakened floors.
The fire was under control in about 10 minutes.
The occupants were able to flee, but medics evaluated two of them for smoke inhalation, Seabrook said; both refused medical treatment.
Two dogs also escaped the fire, but one of them, which is blind, wandered back inside. A neighbor who lives up the street took in both dogs, bathing the blind dog that was covered in soot.
The home, built in 1977, was being rented. County property records list the owner as Bobbie Williams of Camas.
The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.