Fire causes damage at Philomath boarding house

A fire broke out in a Philomath boarding house Wednesday evening but a tenant acted fast to limit damage. There were no injuries reported.

Philomath Fire & Rescue responded to the fire at 6:50 p.m. in the 600 block of Main Street to find smoke coming from a broken window in the front of the boarding house. Capt. Rich Saalsaa said the fire had been extinguished by a tenant prior to the fire department’s arrival.

Saalsaa said Philomath fire crews performed an interior search and found no victims. Emergency medical services personnel evaluated and released two tenants on site.

Saalsaa, who served as the fire investigator, said the fire ignited in a bedroom.

“Damage was contained to the one bedroom although water damage spread to the kitchen and common areas,” Saalsaa said.

Electricity to the house was cut as a safety precaution. The local chapter of the Red Cross provided shelter to six tenants.

Elvin and Harriet Hughes own the structure, which is one of several low-income housing sites in Philomath. Known in the community as “Harriet houses,” the accommodations fill a need for individuals and families that are either homeless or very close to being homeless.

The Philomath Police Department, Corvallis Fire Department and Monroe Rural Fire provided assistance. There were no reports of any injuries among the responders.

A Philomath boarding house was damaged by a Wednesday evening fire. (Photo by Philomath Fire & Rescue)

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