Home's garage damaged by fire
A home fire on Thursday was contained to a garage and home office, although there was also heavy smoke damage to a laundry room. (Photo by Philomath Fire & Rescue)

A house fire that broke out on Thursday afternoon in a residential neighborhood of Philomath was contained to the garage and a home office with heavy smoke damage to a laundry room, Philomath Fire & Rescue reported.

The residents of the home, located in the 2400 block of Green Street, were alerted to the fire when they “heard popping noises coming from the garage,” Philomath Fire & Rescue Capt. Rich Saalsaa said. “When heavy smoke was encountered, 911 was called and they safely made their way out of the house.”

Emergency responders were dispatched at 5:04 p.m., with the Philomath Police Department and a Philomath fire duty officer arriving first to find smoke and flames coming from the garage as well as a room to the rear of the garage.

Within minutes of the arrival of the Philomath units, Saalsaa said a second alarm was called “mainly due to smoke showing in the attic space and the high temperatures of the day.” Temperatures reached 99 degrees in Philomath on Thursday.

In all, an engine with three volunteers, a truck with four duty crew members and three chief officers responded to the fire from Philomath Fire & Rescue. Four other local volunteer personnel assisted in covering the district and restoring equipment.

The Corvallis Fire Department, and the Monroe Rural Fire Protection District sent engine crews on the first alarm. Adair Rural Fire & Rescue responded with an engine crew as well as part of the second alarm for 11 personnel in total.

In addition, members from Alsea, Blodgett-Summit and Kings Valley fire departments assisted with covering the remainder of the district from Philomath Fire & Rescue’s Station 201 on Main Street. The Benton County Sheriff’s Office also provided a drone and an operator “that was used in the course of the fire to help with seeing where fire was still active,” Saalsaa said.

No injuries to the home’s occupants or personnel at the scene were reported. The occupants were able to get emergency food and shelter for the evening.

Beyond the area where the fire was contained, there was no other damage to the main part of the house except for water related to the response.

“The fire cause is currently under investigation but likely started in a home office behind the garage and spread into the garage through an open door,” Saalsaa said.


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