Fire marshal investigating apartment blazes

first_imgThe Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office continues to investigate two of the three apartment fires that sparked in the city in the past two weeks. Today, investigators will begin assessing Columbia Tech Center Lofts, a four-story complex that was under construction in east Vancouver when it was leveled by fire early Friday morning. Investigators had been waiting for it to cool down enough to be assessed safely. Vancouver Fire Marshal Heidi Scarpelli said investigators will likely bring in a dog trained to detect accelerants at the complex, 800 S.E. Tech Center Drive, which was about halfway completed at the time of the blaze. Investigators also are zeroing in on the cause of a deadly apartment fire reported in the early morning hours of June 12 at the Sunpointe Apartments, 900 S.E. Park Crest Ave. Scarpelli said the cause is either an electrical fire or a smoker’s carelessness. Gavino S. Rodriguez, 52, of Vancouver was found dead that day in the ruins of an apartment in the Cascade Highlands neighborhood after crews extinguished the heavy flames. Firefighters had difficulty reaching his third-floor apartment because fire destroyed a staircase. The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Rodriguez died of smoke inhalation.Fire investigators know the cause of another fatal fire that sparked in an apartment in the Rose Village neighborhood, but the medical examiner’s office has not released the name of the 27-year-old woman who died in that fire.last_img

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