Paper delivery driver alerts Vancouver couple to house fire


A Columbian newspaper delivery driver is being hailed a hero after he spotted a home on fire in Vancouver and alerted the homeowners.

Josh Long was on his route around 4:40 a.m. Monday. He says he heard a cracking noise as he delivered papers and didn’t think much of it.

Long says as he got closer to a home in the 12000 block of Northeast 44th Avenue, he noticed a twinkling coming from under the front porch. At first, he thought it was decorative lights but as he got closer he realized it was a fire.

Long quickly called 911 then went to the front door and started knocking and ringing to doorbell to alert the couple inside.

“When I got up there, I could actually feel the heat, you know, the smoke was starting to rise,” Long said. “I was banging on the door. You know, I got 911 on the line. It was quite a moment.”

Long says within seconds the homeowner, Chuck Graves, came to the front door. Long says Graves turned around and told those inside to get out then grabbed a fire extinguisher.

Graves was able to get part of the fire knocked down before Clark County firefighters arrived and put the rest of the fire out.

Graves credits Long’s timing and early morning route for saving their home.

“I don’t know, another five or ten minutes and it would have probably gotten to the house I think,” Graves said.

As for a cause, Graves says the fire inspector told him the bark dust below the porch spontaneously combusted.