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News / Clark County News

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue battles two-alarm apartment blaze in Woodland

"Tonight, multiple people are safe because they heard an alarm and got out of the building.”

By Amy Libby, Columbian Web Editor
Published: April 6, 2022, 7:27am

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue battled a two-alarm apartment fire Tuesday night in Woodland. The fire severely damaged two apartments and left five others with smoke and heat damage.

Six people — a child and five adults — were displaced. One cat was accounted for. No one was injured

Firefighters were sent about 9:55 p.m. to the complex, 1370 Woodside St., after callers reported smoke detectors going off. Residents said one person was missing and could be inside the building. Firefighters arrived to find a ground-floor apartment in flames with the fire extending to a second-floor unit, according to an agency news release.

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue immediately called for a second alarm to help battle the blaze.

Firefighters searched the first- and second-floor apartments and determined no one was inside, according to the news release. This was later confirmed by residents when the missing person arrived at the complex.

Nine fire engines, two ladder trucks, four chief officers, two fire investigators, and one “rehab unit” for firefighter rest and rehabilitation — for a total of 40 fire personnel — worked to bring the fire under control in about 20 minutes. Units remained on scene for more than four hours, mopping up hot spots.

“Working smoke alarms are one of the best ways to be alerted to the danger of a fire,” Fire Chief John Nohr said. “Tonight, multiple people are safe because they heard an alarm and got out of the building.”

Due to the age of the apartments, the building lacked a fire sprinkler system.

Modern fire codes require this type of residential building to have a sprinkler system when constructed, according to the fire agency.

The fire is under investigation by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office, with assistance from the Clark-Cowlitz Fire Marshal’s Office. The cause has not been determined.

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue was assisted by Clark County Fire District 6, the Vancouver Fire Department, Cowlitz County Fire District 1 and the Woodland Police Department.