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Aug. 12, 2022

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Two-alarm fire destroys five apartments in Kelso Tuesday

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LONGVIEW — Five apartments were destroyed in an early morning, two-alarm fire Tuesday in Kelso. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The fire was reported at 4:14 a.m. in the 100 block of Beacon Hill Drive, according to Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue.

Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue was on scene first and crews attacked the fire from the back yard.

Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office deputies evacuated everyone from the two-story, 14-unit building.

Additional crews tackled the fire from the front parking lot with multiple hose lines, Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue reports. Crews removed the second-story ceiling to extinguish flames in the attic to stop the fire from spreading.

Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue Lt. Bryan Ditterick said about 20 firefighters from Cowlitz 2, Longview, Castle Rock and Kalama departments responded with a total of four engines, three water tenders, a ladder truck, medic unit and three chief officers. The Sheriff’s Office, the Cowlitz County Public Utility District, the Beacon Hill Water District, Cowlitz County Public Works and a county chaplain also arrived on scene.

The Red Cross is helping displaced occupants. Ditterick said eight adults and one child lived in the units that were completely destroyed. One additional unit suffered water damage.

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