House Fire in Longview Claims the Lives of 2 Cats... 5 Still Missing (Photo)
At 3:05 PM Longview Fire was dispatched to a house fire located at 2673 Beech Street, in Longview.
When fire crews arrived they reported smoke showing from the windows and doors of a one story residence, signifying a working fire. After a quick size up, it was determined that the fire be attacked from the side entry door.
Firefighters entered the home, which was occupied by three adults and 10 cats. The home proved to be challenging for firefighters, as they negotiated through the heat and zero-visibility smoke filled interior. Firefighters were also faced with an additional challenge; the home was tangled with a tremendous array of contents and clutter. Ultimately firefighters made their way through the virtual "Jungle Gym" of interior obstacles to the kitchen, where the majority of the fire was located. Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in approximately 10 minutes.
The entire interior of the home is uninhabitable and considered a total loss; however, the fire was extinguished before the structural components of the home were damaged by fire.
The three adults living in the home are displaced and Red Cross has been dispatched to assist with short term housing and disaster relief.
Firefighters found three cats that survived the fire, two deceased cats, and still report 5 cats missing, either in the home, or possibly escaped outside? There were no injuries reported.
Earlier today one of the tenants rode his bike to Cowlitz PUD to make and electric payment and restore power to the home. When he returned from the PUD the home was ablaze, and he called 911.
Fire investigators are currently processing the fire. Early indications lead investigators to the kitchen as the possible area of origin, however, the exact area of origin and cause have not yet been determined. Damage estimates to the structure and contents could exceed $80,000.00.
Good Samaritans Prevent Drowning (Photo)
Lieutenant Blake Tomlinson Directs Boat
Longview, WA - Area firefighters, paramedics, and police officers were summoned to the report of a man clinging to a canoe in the Cowlitz River Thursday night. The original 911 call was received at 6:39 PM; a witness saw a man holding onto a capsized canoe who was yelling for help.
While AMR paramedics positioned an ambulance at the crest of the Harry Morgan Bridge to search waters for the victim, firefighters and police officers from Longview and Kelso scoured the banks of the Cowlitz River in the area doing the same.
Just then, two Kelso residents, Tim and Karlita Courser, were traveling upriver in their boat to do some fishing when they noticed the emergency vehicles in the area. Soon, they saw what firefighters were looking at: a man nearly drowning and his capsized canoe. Later, the couple commented that they knew they had to act fast, stating, "he was not wearing a life jacket and looked cold and tired". The Courser's raced towards the scene and without hesitation, pulled the victim aboard. They wrapped him in their jackets and turned on a heater to help warm the hypothermic patient. The Courser's quickly delivered the shivering man to the Gerhardt Boat Launch and waiting paramedics. He was transported by AMR ambulance to St. John Medical Center in stable condition. The Courser's also assisted in recovering the man's canoe and fishing equipment.
The man explained that while fishing from his canoe, he had attempted to land a fish - he rolled out of the canoe when he tried to reach for it as it flopped about. His name cannot be released due to federal privacy laws.
"There have been multiple preventable recreation accidents on area waterways over the years", said Longview Fire Battalion Chief Eric Koreis. "When the human body is immersed in cold river water, the body begins to take steps to reduce heat loss; that includes constricting blood vessels in the muscles of the arms and legs", said Koreis. He said that the body's response causes shivering, loss of coordination, and later muscle rigidity; all contribute to the potential for drowning because they affect the ability to swim and self-rescue. Koreis said, "The single most important thing a person can do to prevent drowning in our cold rivers is to wear a life jacket".
The Courser's helped tow the victim's canoe to the Longview Fire Station for safe keeping. Prior to leaving, they offered one last token of assistance: they donated two of their life jackets to the man, placing them in his canoe.
"Without the quick action of the Courser's, he would have likely drowned", said Koreis.
Longview home suffers extensive interior damage in Tuesday fire (Photo)
A home at 3226 Olympia Avenue suffered extensive interior damage today in a fire originating in a bathroom. Neighbors reported smoke from the home while the occupants, a family of four, were away at work and school. Longview Fire units were dispatched at 11:29 a.m, and found the interior of the home charged with heavy smoke. A fire was extinguished in the bathroom, but the entire home suffered extensive interior smoke and heat damage. Fire investigators determined that the fire was accidental, caused by towels left close to a heater. Firefighters rescued the family cat from the home.
The loss was insured. There were no injures to civilians or firefighters.
Barkdust Fire Proves Stubborn for Firefighters (Photo)
Firefighters Extinguishing Fire
On Sunday September 13th Firefighters from Longview and Cowlitz Fire District #2 worked a 2nd Alarm Fire at Swanson Bark and Wood Products located at 240 Tennant Way in Longview.
Earlier in the day Longview Fire crews were dispatched to Pacific Fibre Products located at 20 Fibre Way for a small barkdust pile that was on fire. When clearing this incident one of the Pacific Fibre employees mentioned that it appeared that Swanson Bark also had a barkdust pile on fire. Fire crews departed Pac Fibre and responded to Swanson Bark and found a mid-sized barkdust pile on fire. The Swanson Fire was extinguished and the Swanson employees took over overhaul efforts.
At 4:10 PM, approximately one-hour after the initial fire at Swanson Bark, Longview Fire was again dispatched to Swanson Bark, this time a larger barkdust pile that was burning adjacent to the initial fire. The fire was spreading quickly due to high winds from the west. Spot fires were putting additional barkdust piles, wood piles, and finished bark product (packaged bark) at risk.
Fire crews attacked the fire from the East and West Sides operating multiple hand lines and an aerial master stream. In addition, Swanson Bark utilized their excavator and multiple loaders to help break up, disperse, and fully extinguish the burning pile.
Twenty-two Firefighters from Longview and Cowlitz Fire worked for approximately four hours to fully extinguish the fire. Swanson Bark maintained a fire-watch throughout the night.
Barkdust is subject to spontaneous combustion under certain conditions that include temperature, humidity, and fuel mositure. Once ignited the brisk wind from the west aided to the spread of the fire. The fire located at Swanson bark was not caused by the Pacific Fibre Fire, rather just a coincidence due to the perfect conditions that promoted spontaneous combustion.