Family loses home, belongings, in fire

February 1, 2012

A family of six lost everything in a fire Sunday at an Orchard Road home.

Brittany Roberts and her partner, Dominic Buttaccio, were in the process of moving into the home of Brittany's aunt, Tina McLaren, when the fire broke out.

Judy Osbourn, Roberts' grandmother, was home taking care of Roberts' newborn son, Evan, born Jan. 25, when she heard a noise from the bedroom.

She was able to get Evan safely out and within minutes, the manufactured home was engulfed, according to Rick Irwin, Roberts' father-in-law. (Fire department officials could not be reached by press time.)

"We were in the process of moving in, so there were some things we still have but my aunt lost everything from the past 40 years," Roberts said Tuesday.

According to Irwin, Roberts had just left with McLaren to get her other children (Makailah, 4, and Aiden, 3) when Osborne phoned her to tell her the house was burning.

The family stayed Sunday and Monday at the Best Western Hood River Inn, where Roberts works. Tuesday they were moving to a family member's home.

"They got out with nothing; just themselves and whatever they had in the vehicle," Irwin said. "They lost new stuff from the baby shower, all gone. Christmas stuff, all gone."

Donations were made at Best Western, and Roberts said she spent Tuesday morning assessing what they had been given and what survived the fire.

"I think my kids' needs are just about covered. Now my aunt is the one who needs help," she said.

To learn now to assist the family, go to the Facebook pages of Brittany Roberts or her friend, Kelsey Michaels or visit: http://bit.ly/z47305

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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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