Three animals perished in a Thursday morning blaze that severely damaged a Keizer home and prompted two alarms.
Fire crews were called to 565 Hornet Drive at 2:17 a.m. and discovered flames coming through the roof. A housesitter escaped the blaze and was transported to Salem Hospital. One dog also managed to flee the home and was reportedly doing okay, said Anne-Marie Storms, Keizer Fire District spokesperson. The house was expected to be a total loss, said Rod Conway, deputy fire marshal.
“The housesitter woke up and discovered the fire and went to try to go save the animals by taking down a dog gate,” Storms said. “If residents have a fire we urge them to get out of their homes. We all love our animals, but human life is the more important thing.”
Firefighters were able to contain the flames to the kitchen and garage areas, but Storms said fire in the attic and crawl space “created a very dangerous environment for firefighters to work in.”
“The hardest part of the attack was the fire wasn’t just inside the home, it ended up going into the attic and through the floor to the crawl space,” Storms said.
Homeowners Ray and Donna Wilson were out of town. The housesitter awoke at about 2 a.m. to the smell of smoke and found fire in the garage. The home had no working smoke alarms.
“Keizer Fire recommends a smoke alarm on each floor, one in each bedroom and a smoke alarm outside the sleeping areas,” Storms said.
Firefighters were still standing watch over the scene at 9 a.m. Thursday.
Fire damage was estimated at about $165,000, with contents valued at $75,000. A car in the garage valued at about $3,000 was also destroyed.
Five engines, three medics, one duty officer vehicle, one air rig, one ladder truck, one fire investigation vehicle and 25 firefighters responded to the incident, with crews from Marion County Fire Dist. 1 and Salem Fire Department providing mutual aid.
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