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News / Clark County News

Officials: Vancouver apartment fire caused by arson

By Andy Matarrese, Columbian environment and transportation reporter
Published: December 13, 2016, 9:17pm

Investigators think a fire that seriously damaged an apartment complex in Vancouver’s Bagley Downs neighborhood and sent tenants leaping from windows Saturday was arson, and officials are asking for tips to help find a person of interest in the case.

The fire, at Fort Vancouver Terrace Apartments, 4710 Plomondon St., started around 7 p.m.

Although a couple of people reportedly jumped from windows and firefighters had to rescue others from inside, no serious injuries were reported.

The fire did $250,000 in damage to two upstairs and two downstairs units, according to the Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office. It was unclear how many tenants were displaced.

Investigators initially said the fire started outside of the building.

Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said Tuesday that they now believe the fire was arson.

She said officials are looking for a white woman in her 20s with dirty blond or light brown hair who might have been in the area. Scarpelli said the woman reportedly was driving a silver, early-2000s BMW X5 hatchback.

Officials have offered an award of up to $10,000 — through the Arson Alarm Foundation and Northwest Insurance Council — for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case, Scarpelli said.

Officials are asking anyone with information about the fire to call Lead Deputy Fire Marshal Chad Lawry at 360-487-7237.

Columbian environment and transportation reporter