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Oak Grove fire kills family dog


UPDATE: Investigators determine cause of fire on the following Monday

by: PHOTO COURTESY: CLACKAMAS FIRE DISTRICT NO. 1 - A fire on Laurel Street in Oak Grove is seen by arriving fire crews on Monday night from the house's backyard.A fire displaced an Oak Grove family and killed one of the family's dogs, said Clackamas Fire crews who reported the especially challenging blaze to fight on Monday night.

A broken power line was found outside the house, but investigators say the fire was unintentionally caused by improperly discarding ashes from the fireplace. They say the ashes in this case were taken from the house in a container and placed in close proximity to a stack of dry combusitible material. The fire started outside and spread inside the home, causing $100,000 in damages.

At approximately 10:42 p.m. on Jan. 7, numerous 911 calls reported a house on fire at 2518 S.E. Laurel St. in Oak Grove. Upon arrival, crews found a two-story stone construction home with smoke and flames showing. In a detached garage/carport, two vehicles were also being consumed in fire, as well as fire in the home.

Crews also observed a live power line down on the ground. While searching the home, firefighters discovered one of the family dogs that had died in the fire. The two occupants, and another family dog, were able to escape the fire.

This fire was particularly challenging to fight, said Clackamas Fire spokesman Jeff Smith, due to the stonework, and heavy roof and ceiling construction. There were working smoke detectors in the home, however the homeowners were alerted to the fire by the family pet, before smoke had entered the home and activated the smoke detectors.

Nevertheless, Smith said that working smoke detectors save lives and asked the public to check smoke detectors on a regular basis. Also, he said, never go near a downed power line, because you always need to assume it is live, and live power lines can kill you.