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Eric Smythe was credited with rescuing a Rainier-area resident who was unable to evacuate due to heavy smoke.

COURTESY PHOTO: COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE AND RESCUE - Fire crews responded to a Rainier-area home that caught fire Friday, June 3.A woman was reportedly rescued from a house fire in rural Columbia County late last week thanks to Eric Smythe, deputy chief of Columbia River Fire & Rescue.

Crews responded shortly after 9 a.m. Friday, June 3, to a residence in the 30600 block of Brownlee Road, south of Rainier, CRF&R said in a news release Tuesday, June 7.

According to the fire agency, the call was reported as a fire in a downstairs bedroom, and smoke was filling the rest of the home.

A resident was trapped in the main floor level of the home. The woman, who was on oxygen, could not exit the house due to limited mobility, CRF&R said.

Smythe, who was off-duty but lives nearby, was first on the scene and assessed the scene, according to the fire agency.

The woman stayed on the phone with 9-1-1 dispatchers and was able to explain where she was. Smythe reportedly discovered the woman hanging out of the back window, gasping for air — unable to exit via the front door because of all the smoke on the main level.

COURTESY PHOTO: COLUMBIA RIVER FIRE AND RESCUE - Eric SmytheSmythe was able to pull the woman from the back of the home to safety, CRF&R said. After being assisted by medics from the Clatskanie Fire District, the woman felt well enough to avoid a trip to the hospital.

The cause of the fire is being investigated. The fire was contained to one bedroom.

The Clatskanie Fire District, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Columbia River People's Utility District also responded to the scene of the fire to assist CRF&R.

Columbia River Fire & Rescue stresses the importance of smoke alarms, which can save live, property and contents.


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