Father carries burning TV out of house, goes back to rescue kittens

A Gresham family of four has been displaced after a fire started in a children's bedroom early Thursday, Sept. 29.

The father discovered the fire at about 12:40 a.m. in his home in the 800 block of Northeast Fourth Street, said Gresham Fire Chief Scott Lewis. The man ran into a bedroom where the fire was, grabbed a burning television set and sustained burns to his hands and feet trying to get it out of the house - either through the front door or by throwing it through the bedroom window.

He was treated for burns, as well as smoke inhalation, at Legacy Emanuel Burn Center. His wife also was treated for smoke inhalation. Their 10-year-old twin daughters were not injured.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, which was in a hallway leading to the bedrooms, Lewis said. They also administered oxygen to two cats and a dog, all of which were transported to Dove Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital.

The father also ran back into the house and rescued a litter of kittens.

Cause of the fire is under investigation, but is thought to have started in the television or a nearby lamp. Damage to the $165,000 house is estimated at $40,000, with damage to its contents estimated at $20,000.

The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the family with lodging, clothing, food and other items.

Lewis said there were no smoke detectors in the house. Smoke detectors should be placed outside every bedroom and on each story of a home.

He also encouraged families to create a place to meet in case there is an emergency and to practice fire drills.

As for running back in for any reason, 'If there is a fire in your home, get out and stay out,' he said.

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