Child helps save neighbors home from fire
An 11-year-old boy is credited with alerting his grandmother after spotting a fire at a neighbor's mobile home in Fairview on Sunday morning, July 24.
Joshua Garoutte reportedly spotted a fire on the wooden deck of neighbor Virgil Welch's mobile home in the 2500 block of Northeast 205th Avenue. He then told his grandmother, Marilyn Garoutte, who called 9-1-1. Welch was reportedly alerted to the fire after a smoke detector in the home went off.
Gresham Fire and Emergency Services arrived at 4:08 a.m. to find the deck of the mobile home was smoldering. Gresham Fire and Emergency Services Capt. Mike Traeger with Engine 31 said neighbors had attempted to extinguish the fire with a garden hose, which helped contain the fire. Traeger estimated that based on the fire damage, the flames may have reached up to 5 feet high.
Firefighters extinguished the smoldering deck and then removed the damaged deck and supports. The home was not damaged.
No one was injured.
Firefighters discovered that embers from an unattended barbecue, which had been used about 10 hours earlier, had dropped onto the wooden deck.
Firefighters commended Joshua for his quick thinking and believe he helped prevent the fire from spreading to the rest of the home. Traeger said Joshua did the correct thing by alerting an adult when he spotted the fire.