Fire destroys Vancouver apartment complex under construction

Fire destroys Vancouver apartment complex under construction »Play Video
(KATU photo)

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VANCOUVER, Wash. – A massive fire destroyed a Vancouver apartment complex under construction and lit up the sky early Friday morning.

Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli told KATU no one was hurt.

The four story apartment complex with 91 units was located at 800 S.E. Tech Center Drive. The fire started around 3:20 a.m.

Vancouver firefighters called for more resources and help from Camas Fire. Scarpelli said 40 firefighters responded to the fire.

It’s unclear what started the fire. Natural gas helped fuel the fire until a utility crew shut off the line.

Scarpelli said the fire spread quickly because the building was not finished. There was no sprinkler system inside.

“With the building under construction, a lot of the wood frame is all exposed, so none of the sheet rock is up” said Scarpelli. “So the fire is able to propagate through the building very rapidly.”

Crews said they would have to let the fire burn out. No other buildings were damaged.

Witnesses told KATU they heard an explosion and the sky turned orange.

"All of the sudden I heard what sounded like an explosion," said neighbor Genavieve Winn. "And then the houses and the sky, everything was glowing orange. It was like a bomb went off or something."