WASHOUGAL — About two dozen investigators looked for more human remains Friday at a home that burned with at least two people inside as gunfire kept firefighters away.
“We found rifles, handguns and thousands and thousands of rounds of ammunition,” including some that did not explode in Wednesday’s fire, said Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Kevin Allais.
There’s no explanation yet why a man inside the house fired at people responding to the blaze. It was not a drug house, Allais said.
The bodies found Thursday have not yet been identified. Neighbors told The Columbian that three people lived there — a man and woman who were a couple, and the woman’s sister.
The owner is believed to be a self-proclaimed white separatist who was arrested in Bonner County, Idaho, in 1995 over allegations he threatened his ex-wife, The Columbian reported. Authorities in Idaho allegedly confiscated more than two dozen weapons, including six AK-47s and a grenade launcher.
When Washougal neighbors saw the fire, they ran to the home to alert the residents. The say a man inside told them to go away and fired shots through the window. One hit a police car. No people were hit. Police did not fire their weapons.
Witnesses reported shots were fired from inside the burning home for 90 minutes as a police SWAT team surrounded the house. Firefighters waited at a safe distance, unable to help.
The house and a large shop on the property burned to the ground.
The remains of four dogs also were found in the rubble, and at least one of them had been shot, Allais said.