White City house burned, pets killed Wednesday

Nov. 23—A White City residence remains standing but likely was damaged beyond repair in a Wednesday morning house fire that killed the family's dog and cat.

"By the time we got there, it was a well-involved structure fire, and we had a response time of about five minutes or less," said Bryan Cohee, battalion chief on duty for Fire District 3.

"The animals were inside the structure; we weren't able to locate them until overhaul," he said.

When firefighters arrived, a man was exiting the second story onto a patio on the roof, Cohee said. Firefighters called an ambulance and assisted the man down with a ladder. He was examined by firefighters and emergency medical technicians and determined to be unscathed by the fire.

The man rescued from the rooftop patio declined an ambulance ride to the hospital and made no medical complaints, Cohee said. The house is still standing, but it likely won't be saved.

"My hunch is it's a loss insurance-wise," he said.

The two-story house seems to have started burning from the outside, he explained, and much of the fire was on the exterior of the house. Within minutes, firefighters were able to knock down the flames around the suspected ignition point, but a secondary fire in the attic of the house sent firefighters up to the roof to open a hole for ventilation.

Five engines and a Mercy Flights ambulance responded to the call. Firefighters were on scene for an hour and a half but achieved knock-down in less than half an hour.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Morgan Rothborne at mrothborne@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4487. Follow her on Twitter @MRothborne.