Fire in Washington State destroys 7 businesses

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A fire tore through a large industrial building in the Salmon Creek area north of Vancouver late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning and destroyed at least seven businesses, according to a news release from Clark County Fire District 6. There were no reported injuries.

Dispatch records show crews were initially called to a commercial fire at 14615 NE 13th Court at around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Employees inside the building at that address reported smoke coming from an upstairs window and heard fire alarms going off, according to the news release. They called 911 when smoke began filling the building a short time later.

Fire crews arrived to find the structure fully engulfed in flames, and took a defensive approach to keep the fire from spreading to nearby buildings. Firefighters described the fire as violent and fast-moving.

The blaze was upgraded to a two-alarm fire, meaning additional resources were called in. A total of nine fire engines, two squads, one training rig, two Battalion Chiefs and two trucks responded to the site, and firefighters from the Vancouver Fire Department and Clark Cowlitz Fire Rescue assisted.

Photos provided by the fire district show crews using ladder trucks to spray water on the fire from above. The building roof and interior walls appear to have been largely burned away, with only charred studs visible in the center of the structure. One photo shows what appears to be a damaged car in the parking lot outside.

The Clark County Fire Marshal’s office is still investigating to determine the cause of the fire and the estimated loss, but Clark County GIS information lists the building’s value at $1.8 million, according to the news release.

“A lot of people’s livelihoods were at stake with this building, so they are trying to figure out exactly what they are going to do that morning or this morning when their employees come to work and there’s really not much left,” said Dave Schmitke, public information officer for Clark County Fire District 6.

The 110,000 square foot building is located inside a business park off of Northeast 10th Avenue in Salmon Creek, immediately west of Interstate 5.

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