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Homes damaged, fish saved in blaze

Keizer firefighters responded to a structure fire in the 5200 block of 7th Ave NE at approximately 4 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14.

When firefighters arrived they found the fire located between two homes, with both homes on fire.

A neighbor and former Keizer Fire volunteer had woken to the smell of smoke and evacuated one of the homes.

He was in the process of evacuating the second home when Keizer Police arrived. Occupants of the second home had not answered, so Officer Banford forced entry into the home. Bradford quickly confirmed the home was unoccupied.

Firefighters worked for more than an hour to extinguish both fires. The fire in the first home was under control in 23 minutes.

Firefighters then worked to overhaul the home, looking for any fire in the ceiling and walls. They saved one of the family’s fish tanks, and took the time to remove the debris, add fresh water and oxygen to the tank.

The homeowner expressed his extreme satisfaction in how quickly the firefighters responded and how they were caring enough to save the fish.

Thirty firefighters from Keizer, Marion County Fire District No. 1 and Salem Fire responded with five engines, two medic units, one duty officer and two support vehicles including Keizer Fire District’s new rehab trailer.

One firefighter was transported from the scene to Salem Hospital for non-fire related injuries. He was in stable condition and was treated and released.

The structural damage to the properties is estimated at $90,000 and combined content damages are estimated at $40,000. All parties involved are insured.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation by Joel Stein, fire marshal of the Keizer Fire District. As of Tuesday, no cause had been determined.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross Willamette Chapter were on hand to offer assistance as well.

American Red Cross disaster assistance is provided free of charge due to donations.

If you want to support the local Red Cross by donating time, blood or money, visit or call 503-585-5414.