Megan Sykes/ for the Itemizer-Observer
Firefighters combat the flames that engulfed the 108-year-old home in Falls City
As of Wednesday, August 15, 2018
FALLS CITY — A home in Falls City was destroyed by an early morning fire on Sunday.
Just before 1 a.m., Falls City Fire Department and other local agencies were called out to a house fire with smoke showing in the 300 block of Fairoaks Street, according to FCFD.
Upon arrival, firefighters discovered that the 108-year-old home was fully involved in fire.
The homeowner and his four dogs and a cat evacuated to a neighbor’s home after the smoke woke him up. The homeowner suffered a scratch from one of the dogs during the evacuation.
Crews from Polk County Fire District No. 1 and Dallas Fire & EMS assisted. Polk County Sheriff Office deputies were also on scene. Pacific Power was called in to handle two downed wires related to the fire.
After the fire was fully extinguished, FCFD remained on scene Sunday to investigate the cause, with the assistance of the Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal. The cause still is under investigation.
The American Red Cross and a local pet rescue group were called on behalf of the homeowner. The approximately 900-square-foot home is a complete loss, according to the FCFD. Fire crews protected and saved two nearby structures threatened by the house fire, said Falls City spokeswoman Megan Sykes.
The home had smoke alarms, but they were not maintained, Sykes said.
“Falls City Fire encourages everyone to ensure they have working smoke alarms on every floor of their home,” she said. “Fires burn faster than they used to because of changes in construction techniques and the type of products brought into homes — from food packaging to furnishings. Families now sometimes only have two minutes to get out of their burning home.”