Dec. 3, 2019 — Tragedy struck on Thanksgiving evening as a small fire in a home near Old Town caused severe damage and led to the death of a family pet. The identity of the homeowners have not been released, and the cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
At approximately 11:20 p.m. Thursday night, first responders from Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue (SVFR) and Western Lane Ambulance District were called to a fire on the 1100 block of Second Street. First responders arrived within minutes of the call, finding the family safely evacuated. However, two family dogs had not been accounted for.
“The crew made a snap decision to make an entry and go ahead and put that fire out,” SVFR Fire Prevention Officer Tony Miller said. “They were masked up and in the door within just a couple of minutes.”
Entering into the home, the crews found the fire was contained in the living room at the time, still at its smallest stage.
“It had already burnt through the drywall and the ceiling and was already starting to vent through the roof,” Miller reported. “But they were able to go in and spray just a minimal amount of water to get a knockdown on that fire.”
The fire was extinguished within four minutes.
During that period, responders did a quick look through the house to ensure that nobody was trapped in the house. Directly after the blaze was put out, they did a more thorough search.
“The fire department is concerned about pets,” Miller said. “We keep that as a priority because we know they’re part of the family. As the fire was knocked out, searching for the pets was our primary goal.”
Equipment to revive the pets were set up as firefighters began searching through closets and doors. One dog was found safe in the backyard, while “unfortunately one of them did not make it due to smoke,” said Miller.
The American Red Cross arrived to provide assistance to the family, who were able to find shelter that night with family members.
While the fire was put out quickly, crews remained until 3 a.m. to search for any possible hot spots.
“Even though we could knock the fire out in four minutes, we start pulling things apart, ripping the ceiling down and tearing into it, making sure there was no fire anywhere else,” Miller said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, as is whether or not the home can be salvaged, Miller reported.