Thursday, November 3, 2005
Fire officials discovered the source
of the fire but are still searching
for what caused it
Photo by Christian Knight
Odell Chief Greg Borton wanted sprinklers
on the burn site to keep it cool.
By RAELYNN RICARTE
News staff writer
July 20, 2005
Odell firefighters braved the summer heat on Sunday afternoon but were unable to stop an aged storage building from burning to the ground.
“I believe there were some definite accelerants inside the building to make it burn so hot and fast,” said Fire Chief Greg Borton.
The blaze at 3754 Central Vale Road was reported shortly before 5 p.m. by Sheriff Deputy Chris Guertin. He had been patrolling the area when he noticed that smoke was pouring from the 30-by-30-foot structure. By the time that he could call for help — and the few minutes it took for the first engine to arrive — the building was fully engulfed in flames.
Borton said the unoccupied shed was between 70-80 years old and packed with flammables and old appliances. Although his crew, joined by Pine Grove and West Side fire departments, battled for more than one hour they were unable to prevent its destruction. Borton was told by Ricky Parker, the owner, that the building was uninsured because of its age.
“It was real dry wood so when the fire started it burned extremely fast,” Borton said.
With the outside temperature at more than 90 degrees, Borton made sure his firefighters drank plenty of fluids while they worked to keep the flames contained. At the end of the day, only the metal roof and the singed remains of a few appliances remained.
Borton and Jim Trammell, West Side Fire Marshall, looked over the charred ruins on Monday morning. They determined that the fire had started in the southwestern corner of the building but were unable to locate an ignition source.
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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