Good Samaritans save father and daughter from Vancouver house fire

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 9:11 PM PDT
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VANCOUVER, Wash. (KPTV) - A man and his daughter are alive thanks to two strangers after their home was engulfed by flames in Vancouver.

It was about 7:15 on a Thursday morning when construction workers Timothy Ward and his colleague were driving to work when they saw smoke in the air. They followed the smoke to NE Gaitland Road.

“I knew something was not right when I didn’t see anyone outside,” says Ward.

Shane Widen, the homeowner was out front, unable to smell anything. Ward and his colleague ran towards the home and knocked on the door, but no one answered. Moments, later, flames shot out of the top of the home.

“I hear screaming and yelling and pounding at the doors and I run out to see what’s going on and they were smoke coming out the window,” says Widen.

That’s when Widen realized his 11-year-old daughter, Keira, was still inside sleeping.

“I run to the side of the house and kicked in my AC from my bedroom,” says Widen.

“I woke up to my dad screaming my name,” says Keira. “I was scared crying screaming”

But Keira was worried about their dog, Griz, who was still in the house. When firefighters arrived, they found Griz just in time, untouched by the flames.

“Four minutes later the rest of the house was fully engulfed in smoking flames,” says Ward.

It took 20 firefighters 15 minutes to get control of the fire and remained on the property for several hours putting out hot spots and conducting salvage and overhaul operations.

“There hasn’t really been anything that we could salvage. It’s all pretty much either smoke damaged or burnt,” says Widen.

Widen says he is thankful for the help of strangers and knows the outcome could have been worse.

“If he was two minutes later, I mean today would be a lot different,” says Widen “He’s definitely going to be a friend to our family for a lifetime.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Clark County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Widen and his daughter are currently staying in a trailer until they figure out their next step. If you’d like to help, you can visit their GoFundMe.