An outbuilding on a property east of La Center burned down Friday morning after callers reported hearing explosions coming from the structure, according to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.
Firefighters responded at 5:18 a.m. to 32318 N.E. 64th Ave., to find a two-story building with a basement fully engulfed in flames. The owners used the building to entertain guests, according to a fire department news release.
The hazardous structure, which backed up to a pond on the property, was collapsing as firefighters stretched hose lines, the agency said. Unprotected steel beams and trusses in the building were weakened by the heat and collapsed.
Crews fought the fire from outside to keep it from spreading to other buildings. They brought it under control in about 40 minutes, the news release said. No one was injured.
The explosions neighbors heard were propane tanks and ammunition stored inside, according to Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.
“We are fortunate that no firefighters were harmed at this fire,” Fire Chief John Nohr said. “The homemade design and construction of this structure lacked fire protection features that are commonly found in this type of building.”
The Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Clark County Fire District 10 assisted with water tenders, according to the news release. Eighteen personnel responded, including three fire engines, one ladder truck, four water tenders, three chief officers and one fire investigator.