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Fire strikes two homes WITH VIDEO

Firefighters extinguish hot spots at the back of a house at 4509 Chenowith Road Tuesday morning. The home was damaged extensively.

Photo by Mark Gibson
Firefighters extinguish hot spots at the back of a house at 4509 Chenowith Road Tuesday morning. The home was damaged extensively.

Three structure fires kept Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue hopping Tuesday.

Chenowith Road

The family dog was among the heroes at a house fire that did substantial damage to the home of Laura and Michael Correia at 4509 Chenowith Road Tuesday morning.

The Correias’ 20-year-old daughter was sleeping in the home after working a night shift when “Precious,” the dog, alerted her to danger.


Fire on Chenowith Road

Firefighters extinguish a fire at 4509 Chenowith Road Tuesday morning, Jan 21, 2014. Video Mark B. Gibson

Firefighters extinguish a fire at 4509 Chenowith Road Tuesday morning, Jan 21, 2014. Video Mark B. Gibson

“We rescued her,” Laura Correia said of the dog, “and she rescued our daughter.”

The daughter heard a popping sound coming from the storage room adjacent to the bedroom. She opened the door and saw flames surrounding a melting light fixture. She and the dog evacuated the house safely before calling 911.

“She was lucky, because the room could have been fully involved,” said Bob Palmer, fire chief for Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.

Opening the door of a room that’s afire can add oxygen to the blaze and cause it to flame up toward the doorway and cause injury. Palmer doesn’t recommend opening the door of a room suspected of being on fire. Fortunately the flames appeared to be above the roof and she was uninjured.

“The fire sounds like it originated somewhere on the back side, up high in the northwest corner,” said Palmer.

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze pretty quickly, then worked on salvaging household goods from the home and a process called “overhaul” where firefighters look for hidden pockets of fire.

Cause of the blaze is as yet unknown, but damage to the northwest corner of the house was extensive.

The Correias have lived in the home since 1996.

“It’s seen a lot,” Laura said.

Both the Red Cross and the fire chaplain were contacted on behalf of the family, and family members from out of town were en route.

Columbia Crest


firefighters wrap up a fire that damaged a trailer in the Columbia Crest trailer court Tuesday afternoon. Scorched siding is visible at the left edge of the photo, and paneling removed to provide access to the fire is visible outside the front door.

Fire crews responded to a call reporting a trailer fire at number 24 Columbia Crest, located on 3817 W. 10th St. in The Dalles around 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21.

Julia Villa, who lives with her husband, Jorge Hernandez, and their three children, said the fire appeared to have been caused by an electrical short. Damage was minor and estimated at about $2,000, said Palmer.

Villa was the only one at home at the time of the incident. Upon noticing the flames that had ignited within her home, she said she responded by immediately exiting the residence and taking refuge at a neighbor’s, who then called the emergency dispatch center to report the problem.

Capt. Fred Coleman said that within minutes of arriving on scene, firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze. The interior of the home, he said, had been left largely untouched. “There’s not much damage at all,” Coleman said.

While fire crews worked to contain the damage caused by the fire, friends, family members and neighbors gathered around Villa to provide their support.

Since no one else was at home, only one member of the household was left to cause Villa concern.

The family’s pet parrot, she said, was presumably still inside the residence when responders arrived. However, as of 2:25, no sign of the bird had been found.

Wanda Bryan, resident of No. 2 Columbia Crest, said she was “just grateful that none of the children were at home” at the time of the fire and that the problem had been able to be resolved so quickly.

Capt. Coleman said Villa and her family would likely be able to re-enter the residence as soon as the fire scene cleared. The extent of the damage, he said, was thankfully minimal in this case.


A can of vegetable spray rolled to the back of a flattop grill, got hot and caught fire at Cousin’s Restaurant Tuesday evening. The fire was quickly extinguished and no one was hurt, according to police logs.

An officer responding to the fire reported seeing smoke coming out of the roof.

Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue Division Chief Dave Lapof said, “the ventilation system would’ve pulled out the chemical spray from the fire extinguisher. That would look like smoke.”

The fire was put out so quickly that the hood suppression system in the kitchen did not go off, Lapof said. No one was evacuated from the restaurant.


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