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He had a giant stash of empty soda cans, and was living with them in somebody's garage. Then fire broke out...

DAVID F. ASHTON - After this garage fire was extinguished, a PF&R Fire Investigator walked in to begin his survey of the charred area inside, which was filled to the top with empty soda cans — evidently collected by the man who was living in the garage.
A fire broke out on Friday morning, July 1, in the back of the attached garage of a house at 6105 S.E. Insley Street, at the east edge of the Woodstock neighborhood..

Dispatched at 7:54 a.m., the Woodstock Fire Station's Engine 25 arrived in less than three minutes, and found smoke seeping from the garage door.

As they got to work on the apparent blaze, seven additional PF&R apparatus and crews arrived; some firefighters hooked up water supply lines and fire hoses, while others used a powerful circular saw to cut open the garage door to reach the fire.

To their surprise, the garage was filled, floor to ceiling, with bags of deposit-return Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper pop cans. Fire crews entered the front door of the home, surprised two napping dogs, and reached the fire from the door that connected the garage to the house.

"An individual was living in the back are of the garage, close to the main house," later reported PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Laurent Picard. "In the garage, crews found extremely cluttered conditions; they had to awaken the dweller, and assist him out of the garage. "This person refused medical evaluation by our paramedics and also transport to a hospital by ambulance."

The fire was extinguished in about five minutes and did not extend to the attached house, Lt. Picard noted, adding that the cause is under investigation. There is no information in the report to indicate whether or not the owners of the house were aware that a person, with an enormous collection of empty soda cans, was living in their garage.


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