VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A fire at the so-called Meth Mansion destroyed outbuildings in a Vancouver neighborhood Thursday morning across the street from a middle school.
The house in the 6100 block of NE 112th, known by neighbors as Meth Mansion, is directly across from Covington Middle School.
Fire crews arrived around 3:15 a.m. and saw heavy fire pouring from the structure. Firefighters let the flames burn through the roof to allow some ventilation.
Once the roof had burned through, crews set up a ladder truck and pumped about 800 gallons of water per minute to knock out flames quickly.
Sheri Douglas, who lives nearby, said the house is a nightmare. She said she’s seen it all coming from the house — dealers, prostitutes, fugitives.
“This is the way it’s been for years,” Douglas told KOIN 6 News. “These are the people you don’t want near the school.”
In 2016, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office raided the home and arrested the owner for allegedly possessing meth and for using an outbuilding for drug purposes.
Neighbors voiced their concerns at the time but the county said their hands were tied because of low staffing levels.
“It’s not OK. They shouldn’t let them be here,” Douglas said. “They should just bulldoze the whole place.”
Detectives said they found deplorable living conditions. That made this fire, captured on a neighbor’s surveillance system, more difficult to fight.
“This is a property that has many structures on it that have been built over time,” Vancouver firefighter Joe Spatz told KOIN 6 News.
This year alone, records show, the sheriff’s office came to this address 10 times to investigate suspicious people, minor disturbances, excessive noise and yelling.
Douglas said she and other neighbors have had enough.
“The kids shouldn’t have to worry about crossing the street, being out here and we shouldn’t have to worry about them being over there,” Douglas said. “You just have to wonder does anybody care? I don’t think they do.”
No one was injured in the fire.
County records show that between the land and building values, the property is worth $136,000. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Officials believe hoarding conditions may have contributed to the fire’s quick growth.