Local firefighter escapes injury in fire explosion

Gary Horst responded to Weir Street townhouse

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A Camas-Washougal firefighter was briefly engulfed in flames while responding to a Camas townhouse fire Thursday.

Gary Horst was protected by his gear and did not suffer any injuries, after an unknown object fell from a window sill and exploded in flames at 256 S.E. Weir St., Apt. 4. His fire fighting partner Ron Nickles turned the hose on him to extinguish the fire.

The C-W Fire Department received a call at 9:34 a.m., to respond to the townhouse. A total of 22 personnel from the C-W department and East County Fire and Rescue responded to the scene. When they arrived, crews found smoke and flames showing from the second floor of the two bedroom townhouse.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. The male occupant described using a lighter to see storage and cat supplies under his bed, since he had no flashlight available.

Fire from the area of the bed was witnessed a short time later, and the occupant evacuated the structure after calling 911. The initial investigation shows the fire likely started in the vicinity of the bed. The occupant was not injured, and the American Red Cross was notified for displacement assistance.