Twoalarm fire burns nearly two acres in Orchards

first_imgResidents of Prairie View Apartments watch from a broken-down fence as firefighters work to extinguish the blaze. A two-alarm fire that started in some tinder-dry grass burned nearly two acres Tuesday afternoon in a lot adjacent to an Orchards apartment complex.The fire was originally reported as a small grass fire just before 4 p.m. near the Prairie View Apartments at 12611 N.E. 99th St. However, as the first engine approached the fire, firefighters saw such large columns of black smoke they upgraded the blaze to a full first-alarm fire and called for additional units. “It got way bigger really quickly,” said Dave James, spokesman for the Vancouver Fire Department. When the first crew arrived, they found some people spraying water on embers that had flown to the roof of a neighboring commercial building on Northeast 95th Street. Firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to Prairie View, but wind gusts blew the fire south toward the commercial buildings.James said it was fortunate the fire spread toward the fire-resistant concrete commercial buildings, rather than toward the apartment complex. If embers had spread to the decks and overhangs of the apartments, the fire could have gotten out of hand. Ten bystanders helped lay out a fire engine’s 300-foot hose line, so firefighters could attack the blaze from Northeast 95th Street, said Capt. Kevin Murray with the Vancouver Fire Department. Another engine company battled the fire from the Prairie View parking lot, while brush rigs accessed the fire from Northeast 130th Avenue.last_img read more