A house fire that took off in downtown Chehalis Sunday afternoon completely destroyed the structure and injured one person, according to Chehalis Fire Chief Ted Hendershot.
The fire was reported at approximately 12:45 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Sixth Street and Washington Avenue where multiple fire crews worked to extinguish the blaze. The fire is believed to have started from a kerosene heater and/or wood stove that were being used in the house.
“The occupant had told Captain (Ted) McCarty that they were using a wood stove and a kerosene heater and he made the comment that he had been using the kerosene heater all day and turned his back, he heard something, and when he turned around the whole wall was ablaze,” Hendershot said.
Hendershot added that it is unlikely the cause of the fire will be investigated any further due to the instability of the structure after the fire. Hendershot said there were no safe ways to enter what remained of the building and Lewis County Fire District 6 Fire Chief Ken Cardinale, who was the incident commander for the fire, had an excavator come in and tear down the remaining structure.
“Looking at it from an investigator’s point of view, there’s nothing really to investigate,” Hendershot said.
An injury was sustained to one person who had jumped out of a window to escape the burning household and was transported to the hospital. Hendershot said he did not have a precise number, but there were “several” people in the house at the time of the fire.
Firefighters had most of the fire put out just after 2 p.m., with crews still working on the smouldering areas of the house. By that time, much of the house was destroyed with large holes visible in the roof.