Rural La Center home engulfed by flames

Photo courtesy Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue
Photo courtesy Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue

Five people, including two adults and three children, were displaced by the fire

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and Clark County Fire District 10 were dispatched at 8:09 p.m. Monday (Dec. 12)  to a residential structure fire at 5605 NE 384th Street in Clark County. The reporting caller, retired Vancouver Fire Department Battalion Chief Frank Mazna, indicated seeing a house across the field on fire.  Chief Mazna activated 9-1-1, then provided responding units with an initial size-up of the scene conditions, as well as guided the incoming units in accessing the scene. 

The initial assignment included four fire engines, one ladder truck, one battalion chief, and two water tenders.    

CCFR Engine 23 from the La Center fire station arrived at 08:19 PM to an approximately 5000 sq/ft, two-story, residential structure, fully-involved in fire. Engine 23 stretched a handline to control fire extension to surrounding exposures. 

Battalion Chief 21 arrived and dispatched additional water tenders to the scene to assist with water supply. Mutual aid units from Clark County Fire District 10 responded, including WT103 and WT105.  

Photo courtesy Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue
Photo courtesy Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue

The fully-involved fire was brought under control with defensive fire streams, with firefighters then working over the next couple hours to extinguish hot spots and overhaul the area.  Firefighters were able to limit the fire’s extension to surrounding structures, preventing additional property damage.  

Five people, including two adults and three children, were displaced by the fire. Two dogs and two cats were unaccounted for and presumed lost in the fire. Firefighters helped to retrieve multiple rabbits from an enclosure outside the structure – giving them to the homeowner on the scene.  

There were no injuries reported at this incident.   

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue would like to acknowledge the volunteer water tender response from both its department and Clark County Fire District 10.  Given the rural location of this incident, the size of the structure, and the significant initial fire conditions – multiple water tenders were needed to meet the fire control water demand.  CCFR utilizes support volunteers to respond to our water tenders when needed, to help offset career staffing and free up additional personnel for other on-scene operations.  Five water tenders is a significant response for an incident, and both Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and Clark County Fire District 10’s volunteers were successful in establishing and maintaining a constant water supply throughout the entire incident.   

 The fire is under investigation by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office. The cause has not been determined at this time.    

CCFR was assisted on this fire by responders from Clark County Fire District 10, North County EMS, American Medical Response, the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office, and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.   

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue personnel reminds citizens that working smoke alarms are critical equipment and should be maintained and replaced after 10 years. If looking to build a new home, consider installing a fire sprinkler system.  Contact Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue for more information on home fire safety.    

Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue (CCFR) serves 60,000 people over 125 square miles, including the cities of La Center, Ridgefield, Woodland, and the Cowlitz Indian Reservation. Our combination department includes full-time and volunteer firefighters responding to an average of 5000 fire and emergency medical calls a year. CCFR operates under a balanced budget and has a history of passing independent financial audits by the state. 

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