Family of 5 loses nearly everything in Longview house fire

Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 10:18 PM PDT|Updated: Oct. 12, 2022 at 10:19 PM PDT
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LONGVIEW Wash. (KPTV) - A family of five lost nearly everything after a fire broke out in their house on Tuesday afternoon in Longview.

The family said they are still in shock over what happened.

Shane Bell was at work an hour away from home when he received a phone call from his fiancé.

“[She was] telling me our house was on fire, and she was hysterical,” Bell said.

Thankfully nobody was home, but the family is still shaken up.

“You build an empire and then it’s gone,” Bell said. “My kids need clothes and shoes. We’re going to get couches, anything helps.”

Crews from Longview Fire and Cowlitz 2 as well as Longview Police responded to the house fire at the 300 block of 29th Avenue. Longview Fire’s Battalion Chief said most of the home was on fire when he arrived at the scene.

Beverly Sanders, a neighbor, said she smelled the fire before seeing it.

“I do a lot of stuff in my yard and all of a sudden I smelled fire burning and I smelled wood burning,” Sanders said.

Bill Roe, another neighbor, also remembers looking at the house and seeing the blaze.

“The flames were blowing out the front windows like dragon flames,” Roe said.

Longview Fire said that while crews were able to control the fire within minutes of arriving, there was some damage to the house next door as well.

The family is staying in a hotel. Bell said they are trying to remain optimistic, but most importantly – together.

“We’re just trying to get the family back together under one roof,” Bell said. “It’s just things. We can get things back. No one was hurt, and I’m grateful.”

The cause is still under investigation. Bell’s brother has set up a GoFundMe for the family. Bell said they don’t have renter’s insurance so any amount would really help them recover from this tragic incident.