11 displaced in Bagley Downs duplex fire; candles blamed

Unit’s electricity had been disconnected; candles provided light and heat

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: January 31, 2014, 1:50 PM

 
Duplex fire

Fire officials said that candles likely ignited a fire at a duplex in Vancouver’s Bagley Downs neighborhood early Friday morning.

Five adults and six children were displaced after the fire broke out at the duplex, 3341 N.E. 57th Ave. Residents at the complex were already out of the complex by the time firefighters arrived, about 2:30 a.m.

Arriving firefighters from Vancouver Fire Department witnessed heavy fire coming from the front door of the apartment, said Battalion Chief Dave Seabrook.

Firefighters doused the blaze by using water and cutting a hole in the roof to let out fire and gasses, Seabrook said. The flames were knocked down within 20 or 30 minutes, he said.

Investigators have said that the fire was unintentional and likely caused by the use of candles in the residence for light and heat, Seabrook said.

“We were told that the apartment’s power had been disconnected approximately two weeks previously,” he said.

The unit was a total loss, with an estimated loss of $120,000, Seabrook said. The attached unit sustained minimal damage. No one was reportedly injured.

The American Red Cross assisted the residents with lodging, food, clothing, shoes, infant supplies and formula, comfort kits, and information about disaster mental health and disaster health services.

Crews from Clark County Fire District 6 assisted Vancouver firefighters.