Wednesday, February 26, 2014
A fire that burned a studio apartment on the Heights and shut down part of 13th and Taylor streets for nearly two hours Monday afternoon can be blamed on a pot of unattended clam chowder.
Occupants of the building located at the corner of 13th and Taylor streets, which contains two apartments, Dirty Paws Grooming, as well as Photo Reflections/Positive Negatives, had to evacuate Monday after black smoke began pouring from a studio apartment located on the bottom floor.
Hood River Fire Chief Devon Wells said that a resident of the bottom floor apartment, Dan Nance, had fallen asleep after leaving some clam chowder to heat up on his gas stove. Wells said Nance woke up to either his smoke or carbon monoxide alarm going off and saw that his range was on fire.
Directly above the apartment at Dirty Paws Grooming, owner Colleen Mason was tending to one of her client’s animals when she smelled and then saw the smoke rapidly filling her business.
“It overtook pretty quick,” she said.
Mason said Nance ran upstairs and told her to call 911. Mason called 911 and handed Nance a fire extinguisher. She then ran outside to assess the situation, and quickly ran back inside to grab her purse, her client’s dog, and then her own dog — a Welsh Corgi named Charlotte — before hurrying back outside to safety. Mason said the fire had gotten too large for Nance to put out with a fire extinguisher, who joined the others outside.
Wells said Hood River Fire received the call at 1:38 p.m. and responded to the scene within two minutes along with Wy’East and West Side fire. Firefighters were able to quickly determine the source thanks to Nance’s information and snaked a hose into the bottom-level apartment, dousing the kitchen with water. Hood River Police Department and Hood River Public Works blocked off 13th Street from May to Taylor streets and blocked off Taylor from 13th to 18th streets to prevent people from coming near the scene. Pacific Power also arrived on scene to shut off power to the residences.
Wells reported that the damage to apartment was “pretty substantial” and the kitchen “was all burned up.” However, he added that the leaser of the apartment, Laura Buttram, Nance’s fiancée, thankfully had renter’s insurance. According to Hood River County tax parcel maps, the building is owned by Michael Maurer.
The upstairs apartment, Dirty Paws Grooming, and Photo Reflections/Positive Negatives all received minor smoke damage that would simply require some cleaning, according to Wells. Gordon Leigh, who owns the photo business, removed his computers as a precaution during the fire, but noted the damage to his business was “pretty minimal.”
Wells said kitchen fires are some of the most common calls responded to by Hood River Fire and advised citizens to “never fall asleep when you have something on the stove.”
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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