VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Twelve people, including 4 children, are out of a home after fire damaged a Vancouver four-plex Tuesday morning.
The fire began around 10:30 a.m. at 3408 E. Evergreen Boulevard. Mark Johnston with the Vancouver Fire Department said there was smoke and fire coming from the windows when firefighters arrived, and an SUV was fully involved in the back.
Johnston said they had to go through the structure and pull the ceiling down because some of the fire spread into the attic. But he said firewalls in the attic stopped the fire from spreading into the 2 end units.
“There is some water and smoke damage in those units,” he told KOIN 6 News, “but no active fire reached them. It’s unusual for a structure this old to have firewalls constructed. (Someone) might have done it when they did some remodeling.”
The existence of the firewalls prevented a much larger fire, he said. The middle unit is a total loss, he said. Even though the fire did not spread to 2 of the units, repairs need to be made to all before anyone can move back in.
Levi Griffith was sleeping when the fire began. He said he woke up and was concerne immediately with “the safety of my family” and tried to grab a few items.
He said he saw “smoke, lots of smoke. Basically just stayed focused, got the kid out, got the family out, got all our stuff and watched it burn.”
“We’re OK,” he said, but added it’s “pretty frustrating.”
The Red Cross is helping the Griffiths and the others displaced by the fire. No one was hurt.
A cause of the fire has not yet been released.