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Fire Destroys Home near Gales Creek


At 3:36pm on October 25th, firefighters were dispatched to a reported house fire on NW Lyda Drive, this is located in rural Washington County near the community of Gales Creek. Approximately 12 minutes after being dispatched, crews arrived on scene to find a double wide manufactured home well involved with fire. Crews were not able to access the fire from the houses driveway due to impending power lines that was about to drop, because of this, fire crews had to park their vehicles on Highway 6 (Wilson River Highway). Because of this, Highway 6 was closed to allow firefighters to work safely. Due to the rural setting and no fire hydrants in the area, firefighters had to bring the water to the scene in water tenders. These water tenders would flow their water into the pumping engine, then go back to the city and refill with more water, what we call a water shuttle. It took firefighters approximately 25 minutes after arriving to get a majority of the flames knocked down. The flames were initially difficult to extinguish due to moderate wind that was feeding the flames with fresh air.

The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation at this time, but prior to the fire being discovered, power to the area went out and it is unknown if the power outage and fire are related. An occupant and dog were able to safely escape the structure, a cat is still unaccounted for. No other civilians or firefighters were injured on scene. The home is considered a total loss. The occupants are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.

For the first hour of the fire, Highway 6 was completely closed, delaying weekend travels trying to get to the coast. Crews were eventually able to transition operations and open to a single lane of traffic with a flagger for another two hours. At this time, the highway is completely reopened.

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue was assisted on scene by Cornelius Fire Department, Banks Fire District, Washington County Sheriffs Office, Oregon State Police, Oregon Department of Transportation and Red Cross.

Scene information:
Engines: 4
Water Tenders: 4
Support: 1
Chiefs: 2

Total Personnel: 25

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