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Elderly man pulled to safety following morning fire

by: Columbia River Fire and Rescue, (L to R) Firefighters Bryan Reedy, Tom Moung and Jeff Lockhart battle back a morning blaze on Saturday in St. Helens, where Moung and Lockhart pulled a man to safety.

Firefighters with Columbia River Fire and Rescue saved an elderly man from a burning home early Saturday morning in St. Helens.

The fire broke out just before 6:30 a.m. a two-story home located at 385 North 17th St. in St. Helens. Two other occupants were home at the time of the fire and were able to safely escape.

The house was overrun with heavy smoke and flames were shooting outside when firefighters arrived.

Tom Moung and Jeff Lockhart, two firefighters and paramedics with Columbia River Fire and Rescue, pulled the elderly man to safety.

'Those are the two guys who made the primary rescue,' said CRFR Chief Jay Tappan.

Because of federal medical reporting restrictions, a spokesperson said he could not give the name of the elderly man.

The man was transported by Life Flight helicopter to a Portland area hospital where he is in critical condition. The other two occupants, both adult men, were evaluated on scene and later taken to a Portland hospital by paramedics from the Scappoose Fire District for further evaluation.

One firefighter was overcome by exertion and taken to the hospital as a precaution.

There was heavy damage to the home and contents. Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the blaze, which at this point is believed to have been accidental.

'It looks like it was accidental. There weren't any suspicious components to it,' Tappan said.