Firefighters rescued multiple pets after they responded to a report of a kitchen fire in Woodland.
Just before 2:10 p.m. on May 18, Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue was dispatched to the scene in the 700 block of Hoffman Street. When the first engine arrived, two occupants were found in the front yard as smoke came from the front door and windows of the home, stated a news release.
Firefighters stretched a hose line and knocked down the fire that engulfed the stovetop and kitchen cabinets. The fire also spread to the adjacent living room. The first responders were able to get the fire under control within five minutes of their arrival, stated the release.
During the efforts, firefighters rescued a large dog named Dexter, a guinea pig named Princess and a large lizard who was in a cage.
“Once the pets were safely outside and the fire knocked down, firefighters worked to fully extinguish and overhaul the kitchen and living room,” stated the release.
The fire reportedly started as one of the occupants cooked fried chicken. The release stated the person stepped away from the kitchen to briefly speak with another occupant. When she returned, the “kitchen was a complete ball of red fire,” stated the release.
As the woman stepped outside to call 911, the other person obtained a fire extinguisher from a neighbor. The occupant went back into the house in an attempt to extinguish the fire and locate the three pets, but the person was forced to retreat because of the high heat and thick smoke, the release stated.
That person was evaluated on scene by AMR Ambulance personnel for smoke inhalation, but declined further treatment.
There were no working smoke alarms in the house, stated the release.
“Working smoke alarms would have alerted the occupants when it was still a small fire that could have easily been controlled with a fire extinguisher,” said CCFR Fire Marshal Mike Jackson.
CCFR took the time to remind people not to go back into a burning structure once they’ve made it outside safely since fire conditions can rapidly change and lead to a build up of smoke, heat and toxic gases.
“We are fortunate today that the occupant was not injured or worse, killed. Firefighters have the training, equipment, and protective gear to enter a burning building” said Fire Chief John Nohr. “If you tell our firefighters who, including pets, is inside and where they were last seen, we will make every effort to get in there and rescue them. I have been on too many fires where people went back inside for a pet and didn’t make it back out.”
Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue was assisted by Cowlitz County Fire District 1 and Clark County Fire District 6. In all, four engines, one ladder truck, five chief officers and 22 total personnel responded to the fire.
Crews remained on scene until 3:35 p.m. on May 18.
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