Friday, April 8, 2011
The night sky in Odell lit up in a ferocious blaze of light on April 4 when an empty, long-abandoned house at the corner of Lingren and Ehrck Hill roads went up in flames.
According to Odell Fire Chief Greg Borton, the first alarm house fire, reported by a neighbor's phone call, was fully involved by the time fire crews arrived at 11:28 p.m.
"The cause of the fire is under investigation," said Borton, "and will continue this morning when hot coals and ashes are cooled."
Odell firefighters were first on the scene and were assisted by fire crews from Parkdale, Pine Grove, and West Side along with an ambulance team from Hood River.
None of the Odell 38 engaged firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze over a two-hour period, but the structure was a total loss. Only two partial walls are left standing.
According to Borton, the home was owned by the Sakamoto family and contact efforts are underway to notify the registered owners.
Neither Borton nor the Hood River County Sheriff Department believe anyone was utilizing the derelict property for shelter at the time of the fire. The two-story home held only minimal furnishings.
Odell fire crews remained on the scene throughout the night to quell flare-ups and ensure safety for neighbors.
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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