Vancouver outbuilding fire caused by unattended candle

Estimated $14,000 damage caused to outbuilding used as residence

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith

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A candle left unattended caught combustibles on fire and gutted an outbuilding in east Vancouver that was being used as a residence.

Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said the Wednesday morning fire, which caused an estimated $14,000 in damage, was totally preventable.

No one was inside when the fire was reported shortly after 3 a.m. at 220 S.E. 148th Ave. in Vancouver’s East Mill Plain Neighborhood. Crews from the Vancouver Fire Department arrived to find the 10-foot by 30-foot outbuilding in the backyard on fire. Firefighters got the fire under control in about 10 minutes, but stayed on the scene to prevent the building from rekindling.

Scarpelli said that as the weather changes more people are going to be inside using candles, which should never be left alone.

“It’s important when you’re using a candle to be present for that usage,” she said.

In this case, Scarpelli said, the person living in that outbuilding lost everything due to leaving a candle unattended.