Tender care: firefighters knock down garage fire before it spreads to Post Canyon home

FLAMES fill the garage of the Post Canyon Road home Wednesday, as firefighters focus water resources on the Courtney house to protect it from damage.

Stacey Methvin
FLAMES fill the garage of the Post Canyon Road home Wednesday, as firefighters focus water resources on the Courtney house to protect it from damage.

Quick response by firefighters, backed up by 3,000 feet of fire hose, quelled a fire that broke out at about 8 p.m. Wednesday night at a home off Post Canyon Road, the second house fire in Hood River in less than a week.

The semi-detached garage next to the home of Jackson Courtney was a total loss and the home experienced minor damage as firefighters focused on the main structure, dousing it with water it drew from three tenders, standard procedure in rural areas such as Post Canyon that are equipped with few or distant fire hydrants. The home is located just northwest of Cathedral Ridge Winery in an area of scattered residences, forest and open grassy areas.

No one was hurt in the blaze. The home is located down a 100-yard driveway on the north side of Post Canyon. Its location required the cobbling together of numerous six-inch hose sections from various agencies, connected to the nearest hydrant, on Parsons Road, several hundred yards east of the Courtney home.

The fire broke out as the agencies were conducting a joint training two miles away at Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum.

The proximity of the fire equipment and personnel probably saved the house from burning, according to Jim Trammel, West Side fire marshal.

“If we hadn’t been staged where we were with those tenders, it likely would have brought down the whole house,” Trammell said. It was the difference between five-minute travel time from WAAAM and 15 minutes from Odell, he noted. (West Side’s tender is currently under repair and out of commission.)

West Side Fire District, where the home is located, responded, along with people and equipment from Hood River Fire Department and Wy’East Fire District. Hood River County Sheriff’s deputies closed the road from Frankton to Country Club while firefighters worked.

Also assisting were Parkdale Fire Department, and Mosier Fire Department sent equipment to Highway 30 and 35 in Hood River, as backup in case other incidents happened in the area.

Firefighters cleared the scene at about 1 a.m. Thursday after disassembling the many hose sections and returning them to the appropriate vehicles

The fire likely started at the southeast corner of the garage, but the cause is unknown, according to Trammell; he is coordinating with the Courtneys’ insurance company about investigating the fire, either Friday or Saturday. The Courtneys were unavailable for comment. Losses inside the garage included a tractor and another vehicle.

Friday morning, Fire Marshall Jim Trammell stated that the fire was caused either by an electrical malfunction or spontaneous combustion in the garbage can from rags soaked with linseed oil stain.

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