Cooking fire blamed for fatal Sifton-area house fire

Vancouver woman died of smoke inhalation

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



Donna Franchino, 58, who died in a fatal house fire Friday is shown in a family photo with her husband Dino.

A fatal fire that tore through a Sifton-area house Friday started on the stove as a cooking fire, the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office announced Monday.

The fire spread from the stove to the rest of the kitchen, and then extended through much of the 34-year-old ranch-style house.

Donna Franchino, 58, died of smoke inhalation, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner.

The fire at the Franchinos’ home, 15209 N.E. 74th St., was reported at 10:19 a.m. Friday.

Their son, Vincent Franchino, tried in vain to rescue Donna Franchino, who was trapped in a bedroom. Arriving firefighters cut a hole in the bedroom wall, but it was too late.

“Fires caused by cooking equipment remain the leading cause of fires in the home,” Clark County Fire Marshal Jon Dunaway said in a news release Monday.

Cooking equipment was also the leading cause of house fire deaths from 2007 to 2011, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

“Being alert and keeping anything that can catch fire away from the stovetop is extremely important to preventing a fire,” Dunaway said in the release. “If you have a cooking fire, leave the house and close the door to help contain the flames. Call 911 outside the home or from a neighbor’s house.”

Family, friends and neighbors mourned the loss Saturday. They remembered Franchino, an emergency room technician, as the kind of person who was “everybody’s mom.”

Donna Franchino was honored by the Vancouver Fire Department in 2009 when she and two neighbors saved Dino Franchino’s life. While Donna Franchino was driving, her husband suffered a heart attack in the car and fell across her. The three used CPR to keep him alive until paramedics arrived.

She was also remembered for helping raise money for New York firefighters and their families after the Sept. 11 attacks.