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'Close call' for St. Helens family as garage catches fire

CRF&R chief credits boys for 'good thinking' in fire response


Firefighters extinguished a blaze in the garage of a two-story house in St. Helens early Friday morning, July 18, according to Columbia River Fire & Rescue.

Homeowners Scott and Lori Melin were home at the time with their two sons, who discovered the fire after they smelled smoke, heard a crackling sound from the garage and went downstairs to investigate, according to the CRF&R report. After closing the door between the garage and the house, the boys, their parents and the family dog evacuated the house, and Lori Melin called 911.

Fire Chief Jay Tappan described the incident as “a close call for the family.”

“Closing the door between the home and the garage helped save damage to the interior of the house,” Tappan said in a statement. “That was really good thinking by the boys.”

The fire was reportedly contained to the garage and extinguished “quickly” after firefighters arrived at the Parkwood Drive home at 12:37 a.m. Friday.

Total damage was estimated at about $15,000. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.