Fire destroys rural Camas Home

Emergency crews battled a house fire on Saturday at 3526 N.E. 222nd Ave., in unincorporated Camas. Occupants reported hearing a loud noise come from the basement, and seconds later smoke filled the home. The 3,600 square foot house and basement was a total loss.

Emergency crews responded to a report of a structure fire Saturday night in rural Camas.

At approximately 4:35 p.m., firefighters were called to a house located at 3526 N.E. 222nd Ave., north of Camas.

According to reports was occupied at the time of the alarm, and two elderly residents escaped without injury and are staying with nearby relatives.

Occupants reported hearing a loud noise from the basement, and seconds later smoke filled the home.

Upon arrival, firefighters from East County Fire & Rescue, the Vancouver Fire Department, Clark County Fire District No. 3, and the Camas Fire Department found fire in the basement.

Crews entered the basement in an attempt to extinguish the fire, but had trouble reaching the area due to the large amount of storage in the basement. Crews were forced out of the basement due to a rapid build-up of extreme heat — abandoning hose and nozzles to facilitate an immediate escape, according to ECFR Chief Scott Koehler. No firefighters were injured.

Twenty-five firefighters battled the fire from outside the structure. Exploding back powder, loose ammunition, and propane tanks kept firefighters from working close to the structure.

Challenges were also presented by a narrow driveway that was four-tenths of a mile long and the absence of fire hydrants.

Water tenders supplied the more than 12,000 gallons of water used to confine the fire to the structure.

The structure, a one-story single family dwelling was approximately 3,600 square feet, including the full basement, was a total loss.

According to Clark County property records, the house and property are owned by Rocque and Marilyn Merritt.

Fire investigation is being conducted by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office.