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Suspicious Fire and Explosion in Chelan 8/12/2011
Huge columns of thick black smoke were visible from the lower end of the Lake Chelan Valley as a spectacular blaze claimed a single story residence in Chelan last evening. The first call came into Rivercom Dispatch just after 7 pm last night reporting a fire at 2115 West Woodin Avenue in the Lakeside area. Chelan Fire and Rescue firefighters were on the scene within minutes reporting a fully engulfed structure fire. Reports from the fire said flames were rising as high as thirty feet from within the building and outside as well with neighboring structures threatened. Witnesses to the fire reported multiple explosions further spreading the flames and severely damaging the building.

A call went out for additional fire aid and a request for law enforcement to close 97A to vehicular traffic. A second alarm was sounded but quickly cancelled as officials at the scene realized they structure could not be saved. Firefighters had no choice but to take defensive firefighting positions to protect neighboring structures as the home burned basically to the ground.

Chelan County 5, Manson Fire Department, brought in reinforcements for the firefight and helped staff the Chelan Fire Station as fresh firefighters were rotated into the fire scene. By 9 pm the fire was completely knocked down and crews were beginning the mop up stage. The charred hulk of the house is still standing this morning and firefighters remain on the scene.

Chelan County Sheriffs Deputies and WSP rerouted traffic around the fire scene overnight. A traffic revision remains in place this morning.