Vancouver motel fire claims the life of 32-year-old man


Fire took place early Saturday morning at Motel 6 in east Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The deceased victim of a fire at the Motel 6 in east Vancouver Saturday has been identified as 32-year-old Christopher D. Schoenwald, of Vancouver. The motel, located at 221 Northeast Chkalov Drive, is currently being used as a quarantine and isolation site for people who have been exposed to COVID-19 and also as a temporary homeless shelter. 

The first-arriving crews found a heavy fire consuming a first floor unit and spreading to the second floor on the eastside of the building. Photo by Jacob Granneman
The first-arriving crews found a heavy fire consuming a first floor unit and spreading to the second floor on the eastside of the building. Photo by Jacob Granneman

Units from the Vancouver Fire Department (VFD) and the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) were dispatched at just before 1:45 a.m. Saturday. VFD PIO Bryan Fredrickson said the first-arriving crews found a heavy fire consuming a first floor unit and spreading to the second floor on the eastside of the building. 

Crews entered the unit on the first floor and found Schoenwald. Fredrickson said crews had the fire under control in about 20 minutes. Both the VFD and the VPD’s Major Crimes unit are investigating the cause of fire and the cause of death is being investigated by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s office.

VPD PIO Kim Kapp said a toxicology report had been initiated because no immediate cause of death could be determined. Results of the toxicology report were not yet available. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s report said the cause of death is still pending.

A total of 11 units responded to the fire. Crews remained on scene well into the morning. No injuries were reported to firefighters or first responders.

No other details were available at the time of this report.

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