When you see the picture, you'll marvel that the occupant was rescued and survived

COURTESY OF BRUNO MATULICH - Letter carrier Bruno Matulich came across this blaze on his route on March 15, and shared with THE BEE a photo of arriving Woodstock firefighters from Station 25 pulling hose to start fighting the vigorously-burning fire. The woman trapped in the house had already been removed by neighbors. If it hadn't been for the pluck and determination of her neighbors – who saw smoke coming from the house at 7933 S.E. 42nd Avenue at Nehalem Street, on Thursday afternoon, March 15, and went in to rescue the owner – this story might have had a tragic ending.

9-1-1 calls led to a fire dispatch at 3:31 p.m.; neighbors later watching the firefighters at work remarked at how quickly the rigs rolled up from Woodstock Station 25 and Westmoreland Station 20.

"When the first units arrived, they reported heavy fire showing out of both the S.E. 42nd and the Nehalem sides of the residential home," reported PF&R Battalion Chief Bill Goforth. "One patient had been pulled out of the house by neighbors before we arrived; she ended getting transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation."

Crews were concerned that a fire, burning with such intensity, might have spread to the attic, so the crew of Ladder Truck 25 clambered to the roof and cut holes in the front and back of the house, to attack the fire and provide "vertical ventilation", which lets hot and potentially-explosive and toxic gases escape.

DAVID F. ASHTON - While crews outside the burned home were wrapping up there, other firefighters still inside the house were spraying fire-quenching foam on the remaining hotspots. After the fire was extinguished, crews pulled a "booster" line – a red hose on a reel attached to the top of Engine 25 – and attached a "Class A Foam unit". "We do this to make sure we don't have any further fire extensions, and to suppress any smoldering embers," Goforth explained.

At 4:14 p.m., a PF&R Investigator arrived at the scene, and began the process of trying to determine how the fire began. The blaze appeared to have gutted much of the house.

As THE BEE went to press, there was as yet no damage estimate, and the fire was still under investigation.

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