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Mar-22-2014 20:00printcommentsVideo

(VIDEO ESSAY) 2-Alarm Fire Destroys Salem Area Home, Residents Escape Unharmed

Due to the severe fire damage and total loss of personal belongings, the residents are being assisted with shelter, clothing and medication needs by the American Red Cross.

Fire, Marion County Oregon 3-22-14
Photos by Marion County Fire, Video by Jerry Freeman Salem-News.com

(SALEM) - At just after 2:00 P.M. this afternoon, multiple 9-1-1 callers began reporting a residential fire at the intersection of Milton Street NE and Lancaster Drive NE, in Salem, Oregon. Marion County Fire District No. 1 was dispatched by the Willamette Valley Communications Center (Salem 9-1-1) and arrived within minutes to at 4762 Lancaster Drive NE to find an approximately 1,000 sq. ft. home fully involved in smoke and heavy fire, immediately threatening the neighboring home, only 20 feet away.

With the large fire continuing to grow, and the immediate risk of fire spreading to the neighbor's home, the Incident Commander immediately upgraded the response to a 2nd alarm fire, bringing additional firefighters to the scene. As the fire was so well involved, and having information that no one was inside, firefighters took a defensive posture and attacked the well-involved fire from the outside of the building.

As firefighters fought this fire, they soon learned that the fire had moved to the attic space of the residence that was extremely full of personal belongings. This created a number of voids and confined spaces inside the attic that contained fire, requiring the use of firefighting foam to extinguish the fire. Shortly thereafter, the roof collapsed on the home.

Residents were inside the home at the time of the fire, but were able to safely exit without injury. Unfortunately, six cats and four birds are unaccounted for and are suspected to have perished in the fire. The residents were able to get two dogs and two birds out of the home as they evacuated.

The MCFD1 Fire Marshal's Division continues to investigate the cause and origin of the fire. At the time of the press release, the cause is unknown. Additionally, while there is no damage estimate available, the residence thought to be a total loss. Fortunately, due to the aggressive work of the firefighters, the fire was confined to the original home without reaching the neighbor's.

Due to the severe fire damage and total loss of personal belongings, the residents are being assisted with shelter, clothing and medication needs by the American Red Cross.

In all, 13 pieces of MCFD1 fire apparatus responded to the scene, bringing over 30 firefighters to this incident. MCFD1 would also like to thank Keizer Fire District who responded to assist at the scene. Additionally, MCFD1 thanks Salem Fire Department, Silverton Fire District, Aumsville Fire District, & Woodburn Fire District for providing station move-up coverage and handling additional alarms while MCFD1 firefighter battled the 2-alarm fire.

News Release from Marion Co. Fire Dist. #1

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Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who entered the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people who fulfilled their life dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “a truck driver with a new found passion to bear witness to the world’s events.”

Teaming up with Salem-News.com he embarked on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Jerry's quick exhibition of natural talent and ability to shoot breaking news led to his becoming a published member of the Salem-News.com team.

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