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Jul-18-2006 19:24printcomments

Canby Man Narrowly Escapes Burning Home and Credits Smoke Alarm for Saving His Life

Amazing photos show house being consumed by flames.

Photos courtesy: Troy Buzalsky/Canby Fire

(CANBY) - Canby Fire units rose to the alert of a fire in a residence Tuesday morning at 7:45 AM. Firefighters enroute knew they were going to have a hot one on their hands, spotting a large column on brownish white smoke rising from the location.

As crews closed the gap they could confirm that they had a "Working Fire." In lieu of the geographic location, and enroute resources, a second alarm was requested.

Fire District Division Chief Troy Buzalsky, says the first company on scene reported that they had heavy fire and smoke coming from the front side of the structure.

"Once a complete 360 degree survey was conducted, additional information included that fire was also coming from the back side of the two story home. Firefighters also were greeted by Mr. Harold Eubanks, the homeowner. He advised firefighters that he was the only one home at the time of the fire, however, their cat and dog were missing, most likely still in the burning home."

He says it took firefighters 44 minutes to control the fire, utilizing approximately 6000 gallons of water, brought to the scene via mobile water tenders from the Canby and Monitor Fire Districts. "There are no fire hydrants in this area, so firefighters must utilize mobile water supplies to battle fires in these rural areas."

Buzalsky says that while Mr. Eubanks was very distraught, firefighters arriving at the blaze noted him saying very clearly, "That smoke alarm literally saved my life."

Mr. Eubanks explained that he was still asleep when the fire erupted, "I woke to an odd noise, when I finally cleared the cob webs I realized that it was the smoke alarm that was going off." Troy Buzalsky says Harold then started down the stairs, only to be met with smoke rapidly pushing up the same stairs he was going down. "I saw fire in the kitchen…I went to the back door, opened it up to hopefully let our pets out, and then also escaped."

The fire quickly consumed the lower level of the family's home before fire units arrived.

The fire was caused by a faulty portable toaster. The toaster was stored in an appliance garage, which has a roll down door to hide the kitchen portable appliances. Once the toaster overheated, it caught other items on fire, including the kitchen cabinets, which were adequate fuel for the fire to quickly grow.

Troy Buzalsky says this fire serves as perfect testament that a $10.00 Smoke Alarm is Sound Advise.


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