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Firefighters rescue homeowner, pets

During Tuesday's fire, the homeowner attempted to escape by breaking through the drywall. He got stuck halfway.

Keizer Fire District firefighters rushed to a man’s aid at 6:52 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29.

The homeowner had been cooking dinner when he stopped to use the bathroom. While in the bathroom he heard his smoke alarm sounding. He opened the bathroom door to investigate and found heavy smoke and flames. He quickly shut the door to prevent further smoke from entering the small bathroom.

The homeowner called 911 and began kicking his way through the drywall into another room. When the man attempted to exit thru the hole he became stuck on the drywall and studs.

Firefighters arrived at the scene to find no visible smoke or flames showing. Upon opening the front door they were greeted by heavy smoke, but no flames. Crawling to the rear the house they saw the glow of fire.

Firefighter/paramedic Christina Johnson began extinguishment of the fire while her partner firefighter/paramedic Greg Biben searched for the homeowner.

Biben found the man in the bathroom stuck in the wall with this head thru to another room. Biben quickly joined the homeowner in the bathroom and shut the door to prevent the homeowner from breathing more smoke.

Biben pulled more drywall from around the homeowner and pushed him through the wall to safety. The homeowner then proceeded to exit the home the rest of the way on his own. Johnson extinguished the fire while Biben performed the rescue.

The homeowner, who was not identified, was transported by ambulance to Salem Hospital where his condition is stable.

Three fire engines, two ambulances, one duty officer vehicle and 25 firefighters responded to the call. The fire was under control at 7:09 p.m.

The house sustained fire damage in the kitchen and heavy smoke damage throughout. Damages to the home are estimated at $30,000.

Firefighters also rescued the family’s pet ferret and rat. The family’s four dogs were not injured as they were in the backyard at the time of the fire.

Marion County Fire District No 1 responded to the fire and transported the homeowner.

The fire was located in the 1300 block of Lawless St NE. The Keizer Fire District did not release the name of the homeowner as of Wedneday morning.