The recent consolidation of several fire districts in Chelan and Douglas Counties into a single agency appears to be paying early dividends for the local community.

The Wenatchee Valley Fire Department responded to three separate fires within a four-hour span Sunday evening.

The first occurred at around 6:30 in the 300 block of North Emerson Avenue in Wenatchee where fire spread from the basement of a residence and fully engulfed its front porch.

Firefighters quickly knocked down the flames.

No one was inside the structure at the time.

The home was damaged but deemed as still inhabitable.

The second blaze occurred only a half-an-hour later at an apartment complex in the 700 block of Fifth Street Northeast in East Wenatchee.

Crews arrived to find the home’s living room area ablaze and a lone male occupant trapped inside a bathroom.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and freed the man, who was treated for minor smoke inhalation at the scene and released.

The apartment sustained only minor damage and was deemed as being inhabitable.

The final fire happened around 10:30 p.m. on Sunrise Court in the Palisades vicinity where a motor home was fully involved when crews arrived.

The motor home was being used as a residence by an out-of-area laborer and was deemed a total loss.

Fire Chief Brian Brett says the recent consolidation of several Fire Districts from Chelan and Douglas Counties into a single department assisted in the ability to more quickly respond to and extinguish each blaze.

“As a combined fire department with a streamlined response plan we were able to get notified, dispatched and deploy resources even faster than we were before.”

Investigators believe the East Wenatchee fire was sparked by a portable heater that was being used to keep pipes in the home from freezing.

The cause of the other two blazes remains under investigation.

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