Seven displaced after fire

No injuries, but three family pets die in garage blaze

FALLS CITY — No one was hurt in an early-morning fire in Falls City on Sunday, but three family pets died as a result of the smoke and flames.

The house fire, in the 1800 block of Falls City Road, started in the garage. Efforts from firefighters kept the fire there until it was extinguished, effectively stopping it before it could go into the home, Dallas Fire & EMS spokeswoman April Welsh said.

“The 911 call came in around 4:22 a.m.,” Welsh said. “One of the male residents woke up, smelled smoke, and evacuated the house.”

The home did not have working smoke alarms.

Six adults and one infant have been displaced because of extensive smoke damage to the attic and home. The American Red Cross is assisting the family.

The contents of the garage, which was being used as storage of household items, are a complete loss, Welsh said. Two dogs and a baby pig that were in the garage were also lost in the fire.

Firefighters from Southwest Polk Fire District were assisted by Polk County Fire District No. 1, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Pacific Power, and the Oregon Fire Marshal’s Office.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

From the time of the call to having the fire extinguished took about an hour, Welsh said.

A couple things complicated the attack.

“It is rural Polk County, so they do not have hydrants in that area, and they have to get their water from the engines themselves,” Welsh said. Four water tenders responded to the call.

Freezing temperatures added to the difficulty, Welsh said.

“It’s very fortunate that somebody did wake up and got them evacuated out of the house safely,” she said. “Our thoughts definitely go out to the family. It’s terrible enough to have a house fire and to lose everything, lose their family pets. It’s very sad.”

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