A Vancouver mobile home fire on March 27 that displaced a family of five was caused by a portable space heater.
The heater had been turned on and forgotten about, Clark County Deputy Fire Marshal Rick Searls said. A nearby laundry basket caught fire due to the heater, he said.
Two dogs were killed in the fire, which largely rendered the house in the 3900 block of Northeast 54th Avenue uninhabitable, and caused about $150,000 worth of damage, according to Searls.
The fire marshal urged residents to be mindful of portable heaters and to not leave the devices unattended.
The Vancouver Fire Department was dispatched to the fire at 4:03 p.m. Five fire engines, a ladder truck and two battalion chiefs fought the house fire after arriving within five minutes of the call, according to a Vancouver Fire Department news release.
The first crew to arrive saw heavy smoke and flames coming from the mobile home, with the “header” of the fire visible from miles away. The fire crew quickly extended a hose line to attack the fire from the exterior.
After extinguishing most of the fire from the outside, crews went inside and brought the fire under control within 10 minutes, according to the news release.
Due to the heavy smoke and conditions inside the structure, the truck crew cut a 4-by-6-foot hole in the roof to let smoke ventilate vertically to make it safer for crews inside and improve visibility.
No people were inside the house. Responders connected the displaced family with the Red Cross for help.