Troy Whiteley walked through his girlfriend’s Colorado Street home in Longview on Tuesday, surveying fire and smoke damage.
Flames burned a hole in the roof. Soaked insulation and other debris lay on the floor. The entire house smelled from the acrid smell of smoke, which had blackened all the interior walls. Heat had blown out some of the windows. Firefighters say the single-story house, at 2817 Colorado St., is salvageable. But it will be a while before Whiteley, girlfriend Jamie Martin and her two sons, ages 6 and 12, can move back in. For now, they’re staying at the Red Lion Hotel in Kelso.
“I’m still trying to take it all in,” Whiteley, 27, said as he walked through the house, looking for toys to salvage for Martin’s boys. Longview Fire Department investigator Koll Myklebust said the fire was accidental and was caused by the kitchen stove being left on. It ignited a pan, and those flames spread to cabinets, up to the ceiling and into the attic. It was a bad set of circumstances, he said.