Albany, Oregon – This afternoon at about 2:06 pm the Albany Fire Department was called to SE 4th Ave for a house fire. When they arrived there was smoke showing from the building and several people trying to put the fire out using a garden house.
A neighbor also reported seeing flames on the outside of the house. At approximately 2:28 pm a second alarms was called and Scio, Jefferson, Corvallis, Philomath, Lebanon and Tangent came to Albany to cover calls in the city and assist with the fire.
At 3:00 pm the building was determined to be unsafe and all fire personnel were cleared from the building. At that point they moved to defensive firefighting and concentrated on fighting the fire from the outside and protecting the surrounding area.
The house was built in 1902 and in that era homes were built with balloon construction so once fire gets into the attic or wall space it travels freely which can make a fire very difficult to put out, as was the case with this fire. It was determined late into the fire that it was going to be necessary to have a back hoe come in and tear the house down in order to fully extinguish the fire. At this point the house was already a complete loss.
The home owners were insured and used the house as a rental. The upstairs renter was not at home at the time of the fire and the firefighters were able to rescue her dog.