Firefighters say a family of five narrowly escaped a fire that destroyed their house early Friday morning in north Clark County.
Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue responded at about 1:20 a.m. to reports of a house fire in the 2400 block of Northwest Hayes Road, east of Woodland. The dispatch occurred during a power outage caused by a car crash in the area, according to a news release from the fire agency.
Children inside the home were awakened by a growing fire in the living room and alerted the rest of the family, the news release states.
Firefighters said the fire had spread throughout the house before they arrived. The structure was a total loss. Some firefighters stayed on scene to extinguish smoldering debris, the news release states.
The Red Cross is assisting the family.
The family had been burning candles due to the power outage, the fire agency said. Still, the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause.
Cowlitz County Fire District #1 also responded, for a total of 17 personnel, with four engines, one ladder truck, four water tenders, two chief officers and a county fire marshal.
“Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue reminds citizens to practice their escape plan and check your smoke alarms. Contact your local fire department or the Red Cross if you need assistance getting working smoke alarms in your home. Smoke alarms older than 10 years old should be replaced,” the news release reads.
The fire agency cautioned people to never leave burning candles or open flames unattended.
A GoFundMe has been created for the family to help cover the loss of their home and belongings, including school supplies and clothing recently purchased for the children.