House fire leaves mother, three children homeless in Battle Ground

Community support has poured in after fire destroyed the home near NW Onsdorff Blvd and 19th Court

BATTLE GROUND — A single mother with three children is without a place to stay after fire destroyed their Battle Ground home on Monday.

Crews with Clark County Fire District 3, Clark County Fire & Rescue, and the Battle Ground Police Department arrived to find smoke and flames pouring out of the roof of the home on NW 19th Court, south of Onsdorff Blvd.

Smoke rises from a house on fire in Battle Ground on Monday. Photo by Chris Brown
Smoke rises from a house on fire in Battle Ground on Monday. Photo by Chris Brown

Misty Massie lived in the home with her three children, two boys ages 9 and 4, along with an 8-year-old girl.  

Massie and the three children were not home when the fire started. Massie’s sister, Rachel Foley, was inside and told Clark County Today she was watching Netflix, unaware of the fire, when a neighbor and two men working on a home across the street began pounding on the door.

Those construction workers said a neighbor had already started trying to douse the flames with a garden hose when they arrived and did the same. Fire crews arrived a short time later, but the fire had already made it into the attic space.

This home in Battle Ground was a complete loss after a fire on Monday. Photo by Chris Brown
This home in Battle Ground was a complete loss after a fire on Monday. Photo by Chris Brown

In a press release, Fire District 3 noted that attic fires can be among the hardest to extinguish, and require a concerted effort to simultaneously provide adequate access, water supply, and ventilation. 

Investigators say the cause of the fire was a cigarette that had been discarded in a planter outside the home, which eventually ignited, catching the side of the house on fire.

“If you smoke, make sure you put your cigarette out in a metal ashtray or bucket with sand, away from anything that can burn,” the fire agency said in its release. “Put cigarettes out all the way. Do this every time. Don’t walk away from lit cigarettes and other smoking materials. Put water on the ashes and butts to make sure they are really out before you put them in the trash.”

Firefighters with Clark County Fire District 3 wait to go back into a burning home in Battle Ground on Monday. Photo by Chris Brown
Firefighters with Clark County Fire District 3 wait to go back into a burning home in Battle Ground on Monday. Photo by Chris Brown

Community steps up

Within hours after news of the fire spread on social media, neighbor Cortney Plaisance posted a photo on her Facebook page of piles of donations that had been dropped off, including clothes for the whole family, toys, bedding, and other items.

Donations poured in Monday for the victims of a house fire in Battle Ground. Photo courtesy Cortney Plaisance/Facebook
Donations poured in Monday for the victims of a house fire in Battle Ground. Photo courtesy Cortney Plaisance/Facebook

A Go Fund Me page set up by Plaisance had received over $700 in donations by Tuesday morning, with a goal of $5,000 to help the family find another place to live.

The family also received $500 from the local Red Cross to help them find a hotel room to stay in for a few nights.

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