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Clatskanie family displaced in early-morning fire

An early morning structure fire displaced three Clatskanie residents on March 5, and the Clatskanie Fire Department chief says that after several hours on the scene, putting the fire out and investigating, there will be further investigation later this week.

The structure fire was reported by the homeowners at a residence in the 2000 block of Shepard Road in Clatskanie at 4:09 a.m., said Clatskanie Fire Chief Steve Sharek. Noise woke a young man in the house, who looked around his room and noticed smoke coming from the electrical outlet – where his computer and an extension cord were plugged in. The extension cord powered an outside light, Sharek said.

The young man woke up the adults in the house and the adult male attempted to extinguish the fire with a bucket of water. Sharek said that because the fire was inside the wall, the man’s actions didn’t extinguish the flames; they did, however, weaken it a bit. With smoke alarms activated, the trio called 9-1-1 and vacated the home.

By 4:20 a.m., personnel from Clatskanie Fire Department were on scene; they were joined by personnel from Mist and Rainier Fire Departments, with water tenders and an engine that was used to fill the two water tenders. The incident was in a rural area of Clatskanie, and there was no hydrant in the area, Sharek said.

“The fire was really burning through the roof by the time we got there,” Sharek said. “We had it contained in about 20 minutes.”

Although the fire was contained by 4:40 a.m., fire personnel remained on scene until 11:49 a.m. Crews will conduct a thorough investigation later this week. “[Assistance from] Mist and Rainier was very helpful,” Sharek said.

No one was injured in this incident and the American Red Cross responded to the scene to provide disaster assistance to the family. The American Red Cross provided clothing, food, shoes, seasonal garments, bedding, linens, comfort kits and information about disaster health and mental health services.

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