Family escapes house fire in Washougal

Accidentally discarded cigarette is a likely cause

Officials believe a fire that occurred in Washougal on Saturday was caused by a discarded cigarette.

According to Camas-Washougal Fire Chief Nick Swinhart, a family of five, including three adults and two children, had all been sleeping when the fire initially broke out at 2257 N. “O” St.

At approximately 3 a.m., one of the occupants awoke to the sound of fire as a neighbor pounded on the door. The family, who had been renting the home, all evacuated safely.

The fire, which was burning on the south side of the single-family home at the roof and attic when firefighters arrived, was under control within 30 minutes. It caused severe damage to the house and contents, and is likely a total loss, Swinhart said.

One of the home’s residents was examined for smoke inhalation, but did not need to be transported to the hospital. No other injuries were reported.

The family is now staying with relatives in the area. The American Red Cross is rendering assistance, including help with lodging, food and clothing. The organization has also provided comfort kits and information about disaster health and disaster mental health services.

Assisting the CWFD to fight the fire were personnel from the Vancouver Fire Department and East County Fire & Rescue. Approximately 20 firefighters were on scene.

The investigation is being led by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office. The origin is believed to be a carelessly discarded cigarette, Swinhart said.

CWFD Fire Marshal Ron Schumacher said it is important to dispose of all cigarette butts safely — in a metal container that is located away from any structures.

“We’ve had a rash of fires [that have been started] like that this summer,” he said.