Fire destroyed two classic cars and gutted the garage of a home in the Orchards area Wednesday afternoon.
Ryan Lindsey said he was loading up his dirt bike when he saw a small flame coming from the Studebaker pickup parked inside the garage across the street at 10124 N.E. 124th Ave. He grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, but by the time he reached his neighbor’s garage, the entire front of the pickup was engulfed in flames. Fire spread to another classic car parked next to it.
A neighbor reported the fire at 4:12 p.m.
Lindsey pounded on the front door to alert the homeowner, who is listed as Lee Cox in county property records. Cox was apparently able to get out of his house through the back door. He was sent by ambulance to Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center’s emergency room, where he was treated and later discharged.
The house next door was also smoking, Lindsey said. Another neighbor found a man in his upstairs bedroom and carried the man outside. The man was treated for smoke inhalation, said Vancouver Battalion Chief Kevin Griffee.
When Vancouver firefighters arrived, the Studebaker and another classic car, which appeared to be a Volkswagen Beetle, were on fire inside the garage, and the flames were spreading to the attic. Besides the two inside the garage, a third car in the driveway was also burned. Something exploded in the garage, likely a fuel tank, Griffee said. Crews got the fire under control around 4:30 p.m.
“With that much fire, you can imagine the damage to the interior,” Griffee said.
The inside of the garage was gutted, and there was heavy smoke and fire damage throughout the house, which is just under 1,500 square feet. The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.