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Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on Sunday July 18, 2021 - 3:12 AM
 
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LONGVIEW, Washington - Firefighters were to a mobile home fire today at 9:05 AM at 605 California Way, #23. While responding, the Cowlitz County 911 center reported that callers advised there were children and pets trapped inside the residence.

Longview police officers arrived at the scene and began to search for the children. They were unable to enter the home due to heavy smoke and heat but were able to search inside doors and windows from outside. Firefighters arrived at the scene at 9:09 AM and started to search for any occupants. No victims were found and the fire was under control at 9:25 AM.

It was later discovered that the only occupant in the home at the time of the fire was a 12-year-old girl. She was reportedly sleeping in a back bedroom and woke to smoke in the room. The hall outside the bedroom was filled with smoke and heat. She escaped through a bedroom window. Several family pets were inside the residence at the time of the fire and all escaped or were rescued except for one adult cat that died in the fire. Firefighters were able to rescue a kitten.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation with early reports that the fire started in the kitchen. The exact cause is still undetermined at the time of this press release.

There were no working smoke detectors inside the residence. "Working smoke detectors are a critical piece of safety equipment that needs to be in every home," said Battalion Chief Eric Koreis. "Today's fire was an avoidable near-miss – smoke detectors would have provided much earlier warning". Koreis said that every home should have working smoke detectors installed, one in common areas on each floor and one in every bedroom.

"Working smoke detectors are a critical piece of safety equipment that need to be in every home," said Koreis. "Today's fire was an avoidable near-miss – smoke detectors would have provided much earlier warning."

The American Red Cross is assisting the family with clothing and shelter.