Two men suffer burns in Vancouver garage fire

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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A 20-year-old man suffered burns on almost half of his body from a garage fire in Vancouver’s Rose Village neighborhood early Friday morning.

The fire was reported at 2:42 a.m. at 3505 S St.

Two men, ages 20 and 21, were working on motor scooters in the garage when one of the males lit a cigarette, Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said.

Gasoline vapors in the air were ignited by the cigarette, causing the blaze, Scarpelli said. The fire left the 20-year-old male with burns on 48 percent of his body, she said.

He was taken to the burn center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland. The other man suffered burns on his hand and was treated at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center

The fire damaged the garage and house, with an estimated $78,000 worth of damage to the structures and a $40,000 loss in contents. A Chevrolet Suburban and two motor scooters sustained an estimated $25,000 in damage, she said.

The fire, which was ruled an accident, was caused by improper use of smoking materials near flammable liquids, Scarpelli said. No citations were issued.