Walla Walla man critical after house fire Sunday

WALLA WALLA -- A man remains in critical condition after a house fire Sunday morning.

Zachary Collins, 23, was in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle after suffering burns, cuts and smoke inhalation.

Collins and a second person, Ashley Lechner, 21, were in an apartment at 216 N. Park St. when the fire broke out sometime before 6:45 a.m.

Lechner also was taken to Harborview, but since has been released.

Bob Yancey, Walla Walla Fire Department interim chief, said the fire apparently started on a porch on top of the carport. Collins and Lechner were forced to escape from an upper-story window after the flames blocked the doorway to the upstairs apartment, which only could be entered through an outside stairway.

There was no one in the ground floor living area at the time of the fire, Yancey said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.