Neighbors banded together to fight encroaching fires - KPTV - FOX 12

Neighbors banded together to fight encroaching fires

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While fire officials continue to investigate the cause of a brush fire in Vancouver Wednesday night, they said the blaze caused a total of $780,000 in damages to three homes.

Restoration crews spent Thursday boarding up and securing two scorched houses near 88th and Porter Road, but the fire originally started about a mile away, on Buena Vista Drive.

That’s where 16-year-old Matis Moga is living this summer. He’s an exchange student from France, staying with Christiane Martin’s family.

Moga had just gotten home yesterday and was the only one there when he smelled smoke.

“He got out of the house and that’s when he saw flames”, Martin said.

The exchange student rushed outside, grabbed a garden hose and his cell phone, shooting video as he sprayed the flames, trying to keep the fire at bay until firefighters arrived.

As crews battled that fire, another sparked up in brush on 88th and Porter Road. Officials think the wind carried embers from the first blaze.

Neighbors pulled out their sprinklers and hoses to try to protect two houses, but the fire became too intense and caused severe damage to the homes.

Bill Briggs went into one home to make sure everyone was safe.

“We ran through the house to see if anyone was there,” he said. “Nobody was there and the owner was in the backyard with a hose.  So we exited the house and got out of there.”

No one was hurt in either fire, but officials told Martin that her house could’ve been destroyed if not for Moga’s efforts.

“He’s a hero!” she exclaimed. “Yeah, they said the whole thing could’ve gone.”

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