Exploding ammunition delays firefighter efforts to extinguish apartment fire


Fire also fire accelerated when a propane bottle on the patio vented a large fireball

WOODLAND — Clark County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) units met with some challenges at an apartment fire early Thursday (May 28) in Woodland.

Firefighters were dispatched at 9:01 a.m. Thursday to a report of a fire on the patio of an apartment at 560 Bozarth Street in Woodland. The fire engine from the Woodland station, Engine 29, arrived at 9:05 a.m. to find a fire burning on the patio and extending into the apartment through the sliding patio door and spreading to the attic through the eaves. The fire greatly accelerated when a propane bottle on the patio vented a large fireball.

Firefighters were dispatched at 9:01 a.m. Thursday to a report of a fire on the patio of an apartment at 560 Bozarth Street in Woodland. Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue
Firefighters were dispatched at 9:01 a.m. Thursday to a report of a fire on the patio of an apartment at 560 Bozarth Street in Woodland. Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue

The Engine 29 crew held the fire in check until more units could arrive to assist in the effort. Initial attempts at entering the apartment were delayed by ammunition that was exploding in the apartment. According to a person with knowledge of the apartment, there were over 1,000 rounds of small arms ammunition in the home. 

Once the ammunition had finished exploding, crews entered the apartment to conduct a search for occupants, and to check any fire extension into the attic space and extinguish the fire. The residents of the apartment were not home. 

Initial attempts at entering the apartment were delayed by ammunition that was exploding in the apartment. According to a person with knowledge of the apartment, there were over 1,000 rounds of small arms ammunition in the home. Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue
Initial attempts at entering the apartment were delayed by ammunition that was exploding in the apartment. According to a person with knowledge of the apartment, there were over 1,000 rounds of small arms ammunition in the home. Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue

Two other apartment units in the building were unoccupied and being remodeled. The primary apartment was gutted by the fire. The other two units suffered smoke and water damage. The fire was brought under control in 20 minutes.

According to CCFR Chief John Nohr, “We are used to a little bit of ammunition going off at a fire. This was so much more. It was challenging to command this fire with the noise of that much ammunition going off.”

Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue
Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue

The fire is under investigation by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office. CCFR crews remained on scene until about 2 p.m. to completely overhaul the fire and assist the investigators.

Three residents were reportedly displaced by the fire. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians at this fire. CCFR was assisted on this incident by Clark County Fire District 6 and Clark County Fire District 3.

Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue
Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue

Clark County Fire & Rescue has provided fire suppression and emergency medical services to the city of Woodland since 2013 through an interlocal contract. On Aug. 4, residents in Woodland and CCFR will vote on the annexation of Woodland into the CCFR district.

Information provided by Clark County Fire & Rescue.

Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue
Photo courtesy of Clark County Fire & Rescue
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