Firefighters Respond to Centralia House Engulfed in Flames Sunday 


A woman estimated to be around 40 years old was taken from the scene and kept under observation for smoke inhalation as responders fought back a house fire in the 1000 block of West Main Street behind the Possibilities Pregnancy Center in Centralia Sunday morning.

She was released by Monday morning without significant physical impact.

At about 11:20 a.m. Sunday, Riverside Fire Authority responded to a call about the home, which was nearly fully engulfed by their arrival. 

Transformers sparked, cars plowed through the gravel alley and a cat sprinted from a nearby trailer. A neighboring Airstream trailer and a Chevy Suburban were also damaged by the blaze.

Though the scene was chaotic, the fire was quickly brought under control. Chehalis Fire and Riverside fought the flames and investigated the scene as Centralia City Light cut power to the area and the Centralia Police Department closed off a block of West Main Street around 11:25 a.m. The road remained closed into the afternoon.

The house was still smoldering with occasional flames escaping its windows around 1 p.m. Sunday.

On Monday morning, Riverside Fire Chief Kevin Anderson reported investigation of the scene revealed the fire started due to a propane heater being too close to combustibles such as furniture or other “soft goods” including blankets.

He told The Chronicle the woman transported from the scene was an occupant of the house who was likely in the building when the fire started. A total of six occupants lived on the property, either in the house or within nearby RVs, trailers or outbuildings. 

Those neighbors hung around the scene for several hours after the fire Sunday, tending to the pets that escaped, including a cat and a pitbull. Riverside attempted to receive Red Cross assistance for the residents who depended on the main building for utilities, but the inhabitants didn’t qualify because their homes were not directly burned, Anderson said. 

He added at least one man residing in a trailer will be using a generator as others will have to seek other resources for utilities.

Anderson said he expects the building will have to be demolished due to “significant structural damage.”

Asked if he was proud of the work done Sunday, Anderson said, “Absolutely. We’ve got a really good team and we’ve got really good neighbors as well.”