Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Scappoose woman killed in explosion

Family members say Kristi Mares was outgoing and likable


Photo Credit: COURTESY PHOTO - Kristi Mares is being remembered by loved ones for her outgoing, spunky and friendly nature. Mares died Thursday, Nov. 27 while working at a repair shop in Scappoose.

A woman who was killed Thursday afternoon, Nov. 27, at a truck repair shop in Scappoose is being remembered as a courageous, spunky and loving woman by her family.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Kristi M. Mares, 43, of Scappoose, was working on a truck when an attached oxygen tank exploded. Mares was working at K&P Truck Repair shop in Scappoose alongside her husband, Paul Mares, shortly after 1 p.m. when the incident happened. Mares was referred to as Kristi McKinney in a Sheriff’s Office news release and in a story published online last week .

The husband and wife were repairing a piece of equipment with a metal grinder, which created sparks that most likely ignited flammable gas leaking from the nearby oxygen tank that was not turned off, according to a press release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Mares died instantly.

The work site on Northeast Crown Zellerbach Road is leased from Baker Rock Resources, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Paul Mares, 56, called 911 after the explosion. He suffered minor injuries.

Paul Mares spoke fondly of his wife Wednesday, characterizing her as “a good mom, a good grandma and a good wife.”

“She was full of life,” he said. “She loved to work in the shop. She was a fantastic mechanic.”

Paul Mares said Kristi had just recently returned to work after months of disability due to a back injury she suffered during a car accident in Montana. According to her husband, Kristi faced several major medical setbacks in her life, including the loss of one of her kidneys as a young child.

“She always came out fighting,” he said.

He said he and his wife were in the shop Thanksgiving day because their annual tradition fell through.

“We always spend Thanksgiving on Mount Adams on the snowmobile with the kids,” Mares said. “Would’ve been there this year, but there was no snow.”

Paul Mares said the couple loved to camp in the snow and enjoyed their snowmobile. He spoke of Kristi’s spunky, outgoing nature.

“She was the type of girl that would go snowmobiling in her bra and underwear if she was dared to,” he said.

Christopher McShirley, Kristi Mares’s 24-year-old son, described his mother as a “a great mom.”

“All my friends and my sister’s friends called her ‘mom’,” McShirley said. “She was really outgoing. Anyone she met liked her right away.”

A celebration of life will be held for Kristi Mares at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Scappoose High School auditorium. A memorial fund has been established by employees of Scappoose Sand & Gravel Co. Donations can be made at any branch of St. Helens Federal Community Credit Union.

Add a comment