1 seriously hurt, multiple people without homes after fire in Vancouver apartments
VANCOUVER Wash. (KPTV) - One person is seriously injured and multiple people are without a home after a two-alarm fire broke out at an apartment complex in Vancouver Saturday night.
One second-floor resident, Michael Shoemaker, said he felt an explosion below.
“We thought somebody hit the building,” Shoemaker said. “I saw a bunch of smoke, went to call 911.”
Vancouver Fire crews responded to the fire just after 8 p.m. on Northeast 102nd Avenue near 60th Street.
Shoemaker said what started as a typical Saturday night turned into a scary situation in an instant.
“The woman was already out of the apartment,” Shoemaker said. “Neighbor had informed me that her roommate was in the building still.”
Shoemaker said his former training and instincts kicked in, and he and his son sprang into action.
“I ran over and grabbed a fire extinguisher, and my son grabbed another one,” Shoemaker said. “I used to be a firefighter. The smoke was thick, it was black. I needed to get him out, that’s pretty much it.”
He ran into his downstairs neighbor’s apartment and brought the man to safety, he said.
“Did what we had to do to try and get him out,” Shoemaker said. “I pulled the gentleman out.”
Crews said they found heavy smoke and fire coming from the back of a first-floor apartment and were able to get the flames under control in about 15 minutes.
Authorities said one man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
The Clark County Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the cause of the fire.
Shoemaker’s unit was also damaged by the fire, but Shoemaker said he’s just thankful his family and his neighbors were all able to survive the blaze.
“I hope he makes a full recovery,” Shoemaker said. “I appreciate my family every day.”
The Shoemakers said another neighbor offered them a place to stay as they figure out where they’ll go next.
If you’d like to help in any way, the families impacted said they are taking donations via Venmo to Justcharlene87.
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