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Fire guts St. Helens house

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Firefighters bring a blaze at a South Fourth Street residence in St. Helens under control April 12.A fire gutted a house and displaced a family in St. Helens early in the morning April 12.

The cause of the fire at 455 South Fourth Street is still under investigation and preliminary damage estimates are at approximately $100,000 for the home and its contents.

Flames as high as 30 feet were shooting up from the older split-level house when fire crews arrived at 6 a.m. The fire was declared under control in about 45 minutes, no injuries were reported and adjacent homes did not catch fire though a nearby house and garage suffered heat damage. Fire personnel remained at the scene for three hours to ensure all the hot spots were extinguished.

No one was home at the time of the fire, said Columbia River Fire and Rescue Chief Jay Tappan. The house is a family rental owned by Jean and Marvin King of Rainier and was being rented to their daughter Debra King and another renter, Matthew Myers. Debra King's 17-year-old son, Marvin, also lived at the home on weekends. The Red Cross stepped in to assist the Kings and Myers with temporary housing, clothing and other necessities.