Firefighters fought two mobile home fires in the past week - one of which four people narrowly escaped.

A smoldering cigarette on a couch on the deck of a mobile home in the 1400 block of Southwest 257th Avenue in Troutdale ignited a fire at 11:49 p.m. Tuesday, March 18.

'They had been barbecuing earlier in the evening and smoking out on the deck,' said Gus Lian, Gresham fire marshal. 'There was a couch right up against the side of the home, and apparently a cigarette got into the folds of the couch cushions and a fire started.'

Four occupants awoke to the sound of the fire and escaped just in time, Lian said. A dog died in the fire, and two people suffered minor burns on their feet from the hot floor.

'They barely escaped with their lives,' Lian said. 'They had no smoke detector, and it was late enough at night that if they'd been impaired in any way, sleeping or whatever, we could have lost four people very easily.'

Another mobile home fire on Rose Court in Gresham at 2:30 a.m. Monday, March 17, was blamed on an electrical short in a bathroom ceiling fan. No one was injured, but it caused $60,000 worth of damage.

'Pay 16 bucks for a battery-operated smoke detector,' Lian said. 'And make sure smoking materials are extinguished properly.'

He said the three leading causes of fire are inappropriate use of a heater, candles and smoking materials.

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