Friday, September 12, 2003
An early morning fire at the American Village Apartments on Avalon Way left four families without homes.
The Hood River Fire Department was dispatched to the scene about 3:30 a.m. on Friday. They arrived to find the bedroom of unit number 35 ablaze and flames creeping through the attic and vent system into neighboring units 33 and 35.
“We had to expose a lot of ceiling to chase this fire,” said Capt. Manuel Irusta.
After the building was evacuated, the Hood River crew battled for almost five hours to keep flames from spreading to any of the other 48 units that were housed in 10 separate buildings.
Hood River was assisted by firefighters from Parkdale, West Side, Dee, Odell and Pine Grove fire districts. In addition, the Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue put an ambulance on standby and the Hood River City Police undertook traffic control.
The Hood River Chapter of the American Red Cross arranged lodging at the Meredith and Riverview Lodge motels for some of the 12 displaced adults and four children who did not have family or friends in the area.
Irusta said the cause of the fire is under investigation. He said there were no injuries to any of the apartment occupants.
Although the belongings in the affected units were heavily inundated with smoke, he said there was limited water damage.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge