Fire crews knock down mobile home blaze

Fire crews battle a blaze in a single-wide mobile home on Cascade Street Thursday night.

Photo by Adam Lapierre.
Fire crews battle a blaze in a single-wide mobile home on Cascade Street Thursday night.

Crews from numerous local fire agencies responded to a mobile home fire in the 1800 block Cascade Street Thursday night.

Firefighters received the call for the fire at about 8:30 p.m. and arrived at the mobile home park behind Big Gym to find smoke and flames coming from the windows of a single-wide trailer in the park.

The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and the resident was out of town in Mexico.

While fire crews battled the blaze Hood River Police shut down several blocks of Cascade Street to allow emergency vehicles in and out of the scene and allow the laying of a hose line.

According to Hood River Fire Chief Devon Wells, firefighters were only able fight the fire from the outside due to unsafe floor conditions in the home.

In addition to Hood River Fire, West Side Fire, Cascade Locks Fire and EMS, Wy’east Fire District and Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue also assisted in responding to the blaze. Capt. Manuel Irusta of Hood River Fire served as the incident commander.

The fire was reported by residents of the houses sitting above the trailer park and Wells said that by the time fire crews arrived, the interior of the building was fully engulfed.

“In a small single-wide like that the fire gets contained (like it’s) inside a pop can, pretty much,” he said. “It’s real hot inside and once it breaks through a window or door, it’s off to the races.”

Wells said that on many responses the outside agencies are either sent home fairly quickly or turned around while en route, but in this case “we actually used everybody.”

The closest fire hydrant to the scene was across the street and over a block away. That led to the Cascade closure and the firefighters having to rely on tank water for the early portion of the battle.

After three hours the fire was knocked down and most of the responders were able to leave the scene.

Wells said that firefighters conducted a smoke detector campaign in the mobile home park a few years ago and actually remembered the layout of the burning home from that campaign.

Additionally, with dense smoke rolling over parts of the park, fire crews were able to get audible confirmation that the smoke alarm campaign had been successful.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Hood River Fire Marshall Peter Mackwell and West Side Fire Marshall Jim Trammel are leading that investigation.

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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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