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News / Clark County News

Fire sprinkler keeps blaze in check at Ridgefield townhouse

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: June 30, 2022, 5:30pm

Firefighters credit a fire sprinkler system for stopping a Wednesday evening blaze from spreading inside a Ridgefield townhouse.

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue was dispatched at 6:40 p.m. to a report of water leaking from a townhouse at 171 N. 42nd Place. Neighbors reported that no one was home, and water was leaking from the second-story balcony and a window, according to an agency news release.

The first arriving unit found the leaking water and smoke coming from a second-story bedroom window. A fire captain recognized the water was from a fire sprinkler system and that there was a fire somewhere on the second floor; he called for additional units, the news release states.

Firefighters located a smoldering fire — held in check by a single fire sprinkler head — involving a clothes hamper, clothing and carpet in a second-floor bedroom. They extinguished the fire, turned off the sprinkler system and began cleaning up the damage, the agency said.

No one was injured, and the residents were able to remain in the house.

Fire investigators from Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the blaze was caused by an unattended candle burning on a paper plate on the floor. Firefighters also determined the smoke alarms were disabled.

“Thanks to the fire sprinkler system, this incident had a good outcome. With the smoke alarms disabled, no one in the adjoining homes would have been alerted to the growing fire,” Fire Capt. Matt Woodford said in the news release.

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue reminds everybody to maintain working smoke alarms in their residence.