Thursday, December 31, 2015

3-alarm Marion County apartment fire errupts on Christmas evening, no injuries (Photo)


News Release from Marion Co. Fire Dist. #1
Posted on FlashAlert: December 31st, 2015 10:59 AM
Downloadable file: Exterior front apt
Downloadable file: fire hose stairwell
Downloadable file: Interior damage
Downloadable file: Ladder truck going into position
Downloadable file: Exterior Smoke Showing
**UPDATED 12/31/2015**

The MCFD1 Fire Marshal, Captain Paula Smith, has completed her investigation into the 3-alarm fire that occurred on Christmas, Friday, December 25th, 2015. Unfortunately, due to the extent of the fire damage she was unable to determine the cause of the fire. As a result, the fire has been deemed "undetermined".

FM Smith is estimating losses at approximately $325,000.00 including the structural damage and personal property loss from within the apartments.

MCFD1 does not expect to make any further media releases regarding this fire.


Well, unfortunately, our hope for a quiet Christmas evening has been dashed...

MCFD1 firefighters are just finishing up on scene of a working 3-alarm apartment complex fire this evening. At 7:35 PM, Engine 305 from our Chemeketa Station was dispatched to a report of a fire alarm at the La Palms Apartments located at 4025 La Palms Ln NE, Salem. Upon arrival, E-305 discovered a working apartment fire on the 3rd story and called for an upgrade to a 1st alarm. Despite the suppression efforts of the first crew, the fire quickly grew and began to extend to the attic. The fire was then upgraded to a 2nd alarm.

Shortly, additional units began to arrive and assisted with the suppression and evacuation efforts. In all, residents from 12 apartments were safely evacuated without injury. Unfortunately one cat died in the fire while a second cat is unaccounted for. Firefighters also assisted with the rescue of a number of reptiles from a neighboring apartment unit. These animals were all reported as uninjured. Tonight, displaced occupants are receiving housing assistance from the American Red Cross.

Given the size of the apartments, fire growth, and extensive salvage and overhaul needs, the fire was upgraded to a 3rd alarm. It took firefighters nearly 2 hours to bring the fire under control.

In all, MCFD1 received assistance at the scene from the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Portland General Electric, Salem Fire Department, Silverton Fire District, Woodburn Fire District, Turner Fire District, and Falck Ambulance. Additional district coverage was provided by Mt. Angel Fire District and Stayton Fire District.

The cause of the fire is not known and the MCFD1 Fire Marshal remains at the scene investigating the incident. Investigators will also return tomorrow to continue to investigate the cause. There is presently no estimate on damages, however, one apartment is expected to be a complete loss while others have extensive smoke and water damage.

We are so very thankful this incident didn't have a worse outcome and are hoping for a calmer evening! We wish everyone a good rest of your Christmas weekend.

Patrick J. Wineman
Incident Commander
Battalion Chief/Paramedic
Marion County Fire District No. 1
300 Cordon Rd NE * Salem, Oregon 97317
BC-32 Cellular: (503) 932-8359
District Office: (503) 588-6526
Fax: (503) 588-6537
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