Fire hollowed out a home in Vancouver's Rose Village neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, displacing a woman and her two children.
The fire was reported at 4:11 p.m. at 35161/2 S St. The house is one of three smaller, century-old homes on a deep, narrow lot.
Brent Gorman, who lives across the lot, was inside his home when he heard a loud "pop." He walked into his backyard and saw flames coming out of the bungalow next door.
He called 911 and alerted surrounding neighbors, some of whom were unaware of the nearby blaze.
About 16 firefighters with the Vancouver Fire Department and Fire District 6 arrived to find all but one room in the bungalow engulfed in flames, said Vancouver Battalion Chief Rick Steele. A neighbor was using his garden hose on his own home to keep the fire from spreading to it.
The family was apparently not home at the time the fire broke out. According to county property records, the house is tiny — 472 square feet — and was built in 1900. Records list the landlords as George and Diane Wehking of Vancouver.
It took a few minutes to knock down the main body of flames, but firefighters continued extinguishing hot spots through the early evening. Steele said the house is a total loss.
Volunteers with the Red Cross later assisted the family by providing food, clothing, bedding, comfort kits and information about mental health services.
A city fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.