On 7-28-22 at 11:24 am, Woodburn firefighters responded to a residential structure fire on Myrtle Street in Woodburn. The fire is believed to have been caused by an overheated box fan that had been placed in an open window. No one was injured in the fire that caused extensive damage to the home.

WFD Engines 20 and 21 arrived on scene to find a one-story ranch style residence with heavy fire and smoke showing on the south side of the house. The fire was first discovered by one of the residents who smelled smoke coming from a back bedroom. The fire had fully involved two bedrooms and extended into the attic before firefighters from Engine 20 arrived and advanced a hose line through the front door to extinguish the fire.

Upon arrival of the WFD crews, residents confirmed that everyone had exited the house but one of the family dogs was missing. Firefighters conducting a rapid search of the home discovered the missing dog that had succumbed to the fire.

It was confirmed by the residents who were in the house when the fire started that the home had no working smoke detectors. Division Chief Scott Heesacker who was the incident commander at the scene would like to remind homeowners of the importance of ensuring that smoke detectors are present and operational. “Had the residents been asleep when the fast moving fire occurred, there is a high possibility that fatalities would have resulted.”

According to the consumer product safety commission about 2,000 people in the US lose their lives in residential fires each year.  About two-thirds of residential fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke detectors. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms are the best and least expensive means of providing early warning of a potentially deadly fire and reduces by almost half the risk of residents dying from a fire their your home.

Firefighters from Hubbard along with Woodburn volunteer firefighters assisted Woodburn career firefighters on Engines 20 and 21 in extinguishing the fire. “This is the first significant fire that has occurred when both career staffed engine companies were in-service.” Commented Heesacker.  Engine 21 is currently the districts only 24/7 staffed engine and Engine 20 is a peak activity engine that is in-service Monday through Thursday 7:00 to 5:00 pm. “Having both career engines in-service allowed for quick, effective and safe fire ground operation”, stated Heesacker. As Woodburn, Gervais and surrounding areas continue to grow, district leaders plan to incrementally add firefighters each year that will form a second 24/7 staffed engine by 2025. “

Volunteers from the Woodburn CERT provided rehab for the firefighters working at the scene. For information on how to serve the community as a volunteer firefighter or CERT member please visit the Woodburn Fire website.