A structure fire in The Dalles during the early morning hours of Dec. 26 is believed to have been the result of by an electrical malfunction and caused about $125,000 of damage.
Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue was dispatched to 6619 Reservoir Road at 1:36 a.m.
While en route, the emergency responders were informed by a dispatcher that the blaze was believed by owner Barney Woodford to have been ignited by a short in a circuit breaker panel.
Firefighters arrived to find that flames had erupted through the roof of the single story manufactured home and smoke was showing on all sides.
Woodford and two other adult occupants had been alerted about the presence of fire by a smoke detector and gotten out of the house without injury.
During a walk around the structure, Capt. Fred Coleman and other fire personnel found that the most damaged area of the residence was in a bedroom, where the fire was reported to have started.
Dallesport Fire Department sent a crew to the scene to provide assistance to The Dalles firefighters, who first attacked the fire in the bedroom. They then pulled skirting away from the home’s foundation to extinguish flames in and below the flooring.
It took only a few minutes to put the fire out enough for the eight firefighters on duty to enter the dwelling and begin pulling down ceiling panels to deal with the blaze in the upper portion of the house.
For the next four hours, firefighters kept an eye out for hot spots in the house and the results of a preliminary investigation determined that the fire had originated in a closet.
It is believed that electric arcing occurred in a breaker box and flames then spread quickly to a nearby wall and beyond.