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Fire Destroys Dallas Home

Overholser, family unhurt in blaze that takes house

DALLAS -- Fire destroyed the home of retired Dallas educator and political activist Janet Overholser May 13.

Firefighters from Southwest Polk Rural Fire Protection District arrived at her home at 18525 Oakdale Road around 1 p.m.

They found heavy smoke and fire coming from the two-story house.

Olverholser was home with her daughter, Diane Waldron, and great-grandson, Luke Mays, at the time. None of them were injured.

Overholser is known throughout the county for her years as a teacher at Bridgeport School as well as outspoken conservative views.

Fire engines from Dallas, Falls City and Rickreall stations responded to the scene. In all, five engines, five tenders, one ladder, one rescue, one ambulance, one support unit, one duty vehicle and 30 firefighters fought the fire.

Luke Mays was riding his bike and was approximately an eighth of a mile from the house when he saw the chimney of the wood stove glowing bright red with fire on the roof.

He quickly returned to the house and alerted his family. After calling 911, they evacuated the residence.

The damage was estimated at $150,000.

Red Cross responded to provide assistance to the occupants. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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