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Wood stove sparks fire in Scappoose

Men staying in detached outbuilding displaced by fire

Photo Credit: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Broken windows are left on a large shed in Scappoose in the wake of a fire that burned the building Friday, Feb. 6. Two men who were staying in the building were  helped by the American Red Cross.

Two men were displaced Friday evening when a detached work shed caught fire in the 26000 block of Northwest St. Helens Road in Scappoose.

According to Scappoose Fire Chief Mike Greisen, flames broke out not long after a wood burning stove was improperly and illegally installed in the 1,750 square foot outbuilding.

Scappoose Rural Fire District firefighters arrived on scene just before 8 p.m. Friday after a resident on the property tried to extinguish the blaze with a garden hose, to no avail.

“They had a propane heater stove to cook on and they decided they were gonna put a wood stove through the window,” Greisen said.

Greisen said two men were living in the building, which is a “garage/shed” serving as a de facto home detached from the main house. No one was injured and the main house on the property was not damaged, according to Greisen.

Fire engines took nearly 15 minutes to arrive at the house, which sits atop a narrow, unpaved, one-lane road.

“We had problems because it was a mud road, not a gravel road,” Greisen said. “It was narrow, steep, curvy and muddy, making access difficult.”

In addition to Scappoose Rural Fire District, Columbia River Fire & Rescue, and an engine from Portland also showed up at the scene to assist.

The shed was not destroyed by the flames. Firefighters could not provide an estimate of damage by Monday afternoon.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross Cascades Region showed up on scene around 10:45 p.m. to offer the two victims comfort kits, as well as vouchers for lodging, food, clothing and transportation, according to the Red Cross Cascades Region.

The men were also offered disaster mental health and disaster health services support.

Thomas McCann, spokesman for the Red Cross's Cascades Region, said when immediate emergency assistance is needed, a small team is usually dispatched to the scene or location of the victim(s) within hours.

“It's designed to go into effect immediately and help that person for the first three, four, five, or seven days until they can get other assistance,” McCann explained. “Very often, the people that we're assisting don't have insurance of one form or another, or their insurance provider might not be able to get an agent out there to start the insurance process.”

McCann estimated about 90 percent of the organization's funding comes from donations, while about 95 percent of those that work for the American Red Cross do so on a volunteer basis.