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Three people and two pets displaced by blaze; crews call fire fight challenging due to high heat, low humidity

PHOTO COURTESY OF HANNAH BALDWIN - Columbia River Fire and Rescue crews responded to a house fire in the 58000 block of Firlock Park on Sunday, July 15, which took several hours to put out due to high heat and low humidity. The fire caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to the home.Three people in St. Helens were displaced Sunday, July 15, after a fire broke out, causing damage to their home.

Columbia River Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched to the 58000 block of Firlock Park Street at 5:18 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters arrived to find a "heavy volume of flames" at the back of the structure, a social media post from the agency stated.

A press release from CRFR added that the crews arriving on the first engine from the Fairgrounds Station found that the flames had moved inside.

All three residents were home at the time and managed to escape unharmed. The family was also able to get two of its cats out of the home.

Fire crews described battling the blaze as a challenge due to high temperatures and low humidity. The high registered just shy of 100 degrees during the hottest part of the day, according to Columbia County weather data.

Crews remained on scene to put out hot spots and manage the fire until 10 p.m. Firefighters were called out two other times that night to fight hot spots that were threatening to rekindle.

Damage to the home is estimated at $150,000. The cause of the fire is believed to be improper storage of cigarette butts next to an unprotected exterior wall of the home, the release from CRFR stated.

CRFR crews were assisted by Scappoose Fire District, Columbia River People's Utility District, St. Helens Police Department, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the American Red Cross.

Twenty volunteer and career firefighters, one chief officer, two support staff, one public information officer, three fire engines, one ambulance and one squad responded to the blaze.

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