Causes determined for Thursday kitchen fires

Unattended pan of oil, smoking materials put in garbage bag are blamed

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

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The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the causes of two Thursday kitchen fires.

The first fire, reported at 11:21 a.m. Thursday at 7210 N.E. 125th Ave. in the Sifton area, was ignited by a pan of oil left unattended on the stove. The fire spread up through the cabinets and into the attic, said Deputy Fire Marshal Kurtis Eavenson. Damage to the home was estimated at $15,000, and another $10,000 for the contents. There was smoke damage throughout the house, Eavenson said.

The Fire Marshal’s Office reminds people to never leave cooking unattended. When heating up oil, there should be a tight fitting lid nearby that can be used to snuff flames.

Thursday afternoon, a fire ignited at a one-story home in the Salmon Creek near Washington State University Vancouver. A neighbor reported hearing an explosion at the home, 15107 N.E. 25th Court, which was actually heat blowing out the kitchen window. Eavenson said smoking materials that had been discarded into a garbage bag in the kitchen caused the fire.

The kitchen and adjacent dining room were destroyed, and there was heat damage throughout the home. Damage was estimated at $50,000 to the house and another $50,000 to the contents.