Multiple-alarm fire destroys 17th St. home in Hood River

By SUE RYAN

News staff writer

August 30, 2006

A four-alarm fire at 608 17th St. in Hood River Friday afternoon left a home a smoking skeleton.

Hood River Fire Chief Jeff Walker said the cause of the fire was determined to be an electrical problem located outside on the deck.

Homeowners Ed and Patsy Prideaux escaped without injury. They called 9-1-1 after discovering the fire burning outside of the house on the deck, which it apparently did for several minutes before they saw it. The fire caused $300,000 in damages.

Walker said the fire spread rapidly and into the attic of the home due to the rupture of the natural gas line in the home, which kept feeding natural gas to the fire.

Firefighters cut holes in the roof in order to vent the fire. Walker said the fact that there were orange flames billowing forth was due to the gas and made it impossible for the firefighters to extinguish. Instead they were limited to stopping its spread until the gas line was shut off.

A four-alarm fire indicates that all fire departments within Hood River County have been called as well as additional fire service to cover the city. About 20 firefighters from West Side, Pine Grove, Odell, Parkdale and Cascade Locks fire departments responded to fight the blaze.

Firefighters and paramedics from Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue in The Dalles provided coverage for the city of Hood River during the blaze.

“They did respond to a few medical calls while we were on the fire,” said Walker.

Such coverage is common under agreements worked out between fire districts and departments.

*****

The Prideauxs were able to salvage some belongings from the home. They are staying in a motel until they find a temporary home, according to Walker.

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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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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