A pan of cooking oil left on a stove was blamed for an early morning fire that heavily damaged a home in a rural area near Battle Ground.
The fire at 12409 N.E. 179th St. was reported at 1:24 a.m. by a Clark County Sheriff's Department deputy who spotted the blaze while on patrol, said Battalion Chief Tim Dawdy of Clark County Fire & Rescue.
When firefighters arrived, fire was coming through the roof and had spread throughout the structure, Dawdy said. It took about 40 minutes to bring under control.
"The fire started in kitchen, but no one was home, so it got a big head start on firefighters," Dawdy said. He said it would have been much worse had the deputy not spotted the fire while on patrol.
The Clark County Fire Marshal's Office investigated the fire and determined that it originated in a pan of cooking oil that had been left on a cooktop that had been inadvertently left on, Dawdy said.
The 2,688-square-foot house is owned by Elena Borbely, according to county property records.