Shed ignites in summer heat

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.


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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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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