Fire destroys hangar bays, planes at Grove Field

Cause has not been determined

A fire at Grove Field airport destroyed 10 hangar bays and a handful of planes last night.

Emergency crews responded to the scene two minutes after the initial call came in at approximately 10:22 p.m. Port of Camas-Washougal Executive Director David Ripp said this morning the fire was first reported by homeowners who live near the north runway after they saw smoke coming from the area.

The two-alarm blaze in the C-Row Hangar at 632 N.E. 267th Ave., included response from East County Fire and Rescue, which has a station located at the northwest corner of Grove Field, the Camas-Washougal Fire Department and the Vancouver Fire Department.

Ripp said within about an hour, firefighters had the blaze under control. No injuries were reported.

“Their quick response contained the fire and prevented more damage to other structures,” he said.

Initial reports indicate that the gutted hanger housed several small planes and antique cars.

“You can’t tell how many planes were destroyed because there’s nothing left,” Ripp said.

He said the C-Row Hangar was built in the 1950s or 1960s, and the bays were not equipped with sprinkler systems.

Grove Field, located north of Camas, remains shut down to air traffic.

“The airport has been closed in order to secure the damaged building and due to safety concerns for surrounding property,” Ripp said. “It will remain closed until the [Clark County] fire marshal completes his investigation.”

Ripp said port officials will be working to get fencing installed around the perimeter of the scene as soon as possible.

“Investigators will be out there,” Ripp said. “We don’t want people walking around that area.”

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Camas Police Department also responded to the scene last night.

Grove Field, a general aviation airport, is owned by the Port of Camas-Washougal. It includes a total of 79 hangars and 14 tie-downs that are leased to private pilots.