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'The male occupant was attempting to fight the fire with a garden hose.' -Kerry Benthin, Colton Fire duty officer

PIONEER PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - Fire burned a Colton home at the intersection of S. Dhooghe and Munson on Saturday, Nov. 25.

A Colton family came home Saturday morning to find their house on fire. The family is safe, but their home was a total loss.

"The family lost everything." -Canby Fire District Battalion Chief Todd Gary

"The family lost everything," said Canby Fire District Battalion Chief Todd Gary, who responded to the fire.

On Saturday, Nov. 25 at about 5:30 a.m., the male occupant left the home, located at the intersection of S. Dhooghe Road and Munson, with his children to pick his wife up from her night shift, according to Gary. The fire occurred while the family was away at approximately 6:50 a.m.

"When they came home, they came home unfortunately to their house being on fire," Gary said.

The family tried to call 911, but couldn't get through, so a passerby made the call. Gary, of Canby Fire District, responded because he lives nearby.

"When I arrived, there was fire coming out the front window of the home, a front bedroom window," Gary said.

The male occupant was trying to fight the flames himself.

"Battalion Chief Todd Gary from Canby Fire who lives close by was already on scene when I arrived to flames showing from the bedroom windows," said Kerry Benthin, Colton Fire duty officer. "The male occupant was attempting to fight the fire with a garden hose. The conditions were rapidly deteriorating so we got the resident away from the house."

The fire spread quickly in part due to the construction of the home, Gary noted. The house was built of cinder blocks and had a metal roof.

"So it held a lot of heat, and it spread throughout the house," Gary said.

Firefighters from Canby Fire District, Colton Fire District and Molalla Rural Fire Protection District all worked to extinguish the flames.

"It was a very hot fire. It was well established." -Canby Fire District Batallion Chief Todd Gary

"The Colton Fire Department, the Molalla Fire Department and Canby Fire Department, that all arrived, did a great job," Gary said. "It was a very hot fire. It was well established. And all of those three departments did an outstanding job."

After the fire was out, crews made sure all was clear. The smoke was gone and they went through the home with a gas detector. Even so, the next day, after everything had dried out, a small flare-up occurred at the home.

"There was a lot of stuff in the house," Gary said. "It was just the stuff. It wasn't really the structure that started burning again, it was just the stuff."

The cause of the fire was electrical in nature, according to Gary, but it is still under investigation.

The Red Cross is providing temporary housing for the family, but they are seeking a house to rent, according to Colton Elementary Principal Nathan Meik. The family also has a resource for children's clothing; and because of their temporary living situation, they are not requesting other physical items at this time.

"The primary need they have right now is finding a place to rent," Meik said.

Those interested in helping can contact Tim Behrens, who is coordinating resources for the family. Call 503-210-5577 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Kristen Wohlers
Reporter
503-829-2301
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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