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Molalla Fire and other crews put out flames, rescue animals; home is total loss

COURTESY PHOTO: MOLALLA FIRE - Fire crews tackle a fire at Macksburg Road, east of Highway 213 on Wednesday, July 17.

Molalla Fire District crews, along with other area crews, fought a residential fire on Macksburg Road, east of Highway 213, Wednesday evening. All humans made it out safe, and many animals were also rescued.

Emergency personnel responded to the manufactured home at 13895 Macksburg Rd. on July 17 at approximately 4:30 p.m. and arrived to flames coming out of windows and heavy black smoke coming out from the front door, according to Molalla Fire Chief Vince Stafford. Crews immediately got to work extinguishing the flames.

There were residents and neighbors at the home, all of whom made it out safe, said Molalla Fire Lieutenant Mike Penunuri. One person experienced breathing difficulty, likely due to panic or anxiety.

Throughout the evening, crews rescued four adult cats, five kittens, two "rather large" boa constrictors, a turtle and more animals than Penunuri could list.

There were also horses on the property, but they were well away from the fire.

According to Molalla Fire, the fire was in the "mop-up stages" by 6 p.m. Though, there was some difficulty with the mop-up due to the roof collapsing, making it difficult to access certain areas of the home, according to Penunuri.

Unfortunately, the home was a total loss, "totally uninhabitable," Penunuri said, displacing at least three residents.

COURTESY PHOTO: MOLALLA FIRE - Molalla Fire finishes putting out the flames at a Macksburg Road fire on Wednesday evening, July 17.Fire personnel informed the American Red Cross, which lends help to families displaced by fires. To find out how to help, visit the Red Cross website at

Due to heavy fire traffic, travelers were asked to avoid the area for several hours.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire. According to Stafford, one of the residents indicated the fire started in a bedroom, but fire personnel are still trying to determine the series of events that led to the fire.

Molalla Fire was assisted by Canby Fire District, Colton Rural Fire Protection District #70, Clackamas Fire District 1, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and Molalla Police Department. Aurora Fire District provided back-up for the Molalla area while crews were out at the Macksburg Fire.

"It was a good response," Penunuri said. "We all worked well in conjunction with each other and trying to suppress the fire. We had some good mutual aid and good, solid personnel on scene."

This story has been updated.

Kristen Wohlers
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