Crews fight multiple 2-alarm fires in Vancouver

It took 31 fire fighters to put out

Vancouver and Portland fire crews put out an apartment fire in Vancouver on August 3, 2017. (Courtesy of Daniel B Gray)
Vancouver and Portland fire crews put out an apartment fire in Vancouver on August 3, 2017. (Courtesy of Daniel B Gray)


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Vancouver Fire Department was hard at work Thursday afternoon with crews fighting back-to-back fires in Vancouver.

The first fire damaged a home near Clark College. Crews were already in the area when the fire was reported, so they were able to respond quickly. The house was already fully engulfed in flames by the time fire fighters got there.

Battling in the triple-digit heat, it took 31 fire fighters to get the flames under control.

No one was injured thanks to the quick response and a neighbor who jumped in to save lives. Bob Vaughn and his wife Sue were sitting in their backyard when the fire started.

“Instinct. I don’t know what it was. I just ran up to the house and made sure everyone was out of the house,” Bob Vaughn said. “Somebody said someone was in there, an elderly lady in there, and I told her to get the hell out of the house.”

Vancouver and Portland fire crews put out an apartment fire in Vancouver on August 3, 2017. (Courtesy of Daniel B Gray)Vancouver and Portland fire crews put out an apartment fire in Vancouver on August 3, 2017. (Courtesy of Daniel B Gray)
Vancouver and Portland fire crews put out an apartment fire in Vancouver on August 3, 2017. (Courtesy of Daniel B Gray)

The house next door caught fire too, but was quickly put out. A car that was parked in the driveway was also damaged.

No injuries were reported but a neighbor was treated for smoke inhalation and is expected to be OK.

The cause of that fire is still under investigation.

The second fire started shortly after the first was contained, at the Madison Park Apartments on NE 28th Street. Portland Fire and Rescue firefighters also helped with the blaze.

“When there is a big incident, everybody collapses on that incident, whether it’s the surrounding departments, everybody helps out,” Vancouver Fire Division Chief Ward Knable said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

More than 10 units were affected but no people were hurt. Several residents reported missing pets.

Neighbors in the apartment fire also looked out for each other, yelling to others to get out of the building.

“It just went like 15 feet up the tree and then it was on the side of the building going all the way up,” Jonathan Kane said. “Just panic. Grabbed the animals and got out.”