Staged and ready thanks to a training meeting, Wy’East District firefighters quelled a fire at 8:20 p.m. Wednesday at Odell Apartments.
When the alarm sounded, a large number of volunteers were gathered three minutes away at the Pine Grove station, allowing them to respond and put rapid suppression on the fire, which damaged the west half of the building, located across the road from the Odell fire hall.
Two occupants of Odell Apartments were treated at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for smoke inhalation, according to Wy’East Fire Chief Greg Borton.
“We did not know if they were in the building when we arrived, so we did an initial search, and it turns out they had run out the front of the building and gone around to the west (back) of the building,” Borton said. Two vehicles were also damaged, on the west side.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, with the State Fire Marshal expected to be at the scene on Saturday.
Only two people were living in the building, owned by Parkdale orchardist and businessman Gorham Blaine, who said he has found new homes for the occupants and intends to rebuild after assessing the damage.
The fire rekindled Thursday morning, and firefighters spent another hour dousing it. “We were concerned over high winds and rising temperatures,” Borton said. According to Borton, Blaine purchased the building in 2017 and transformed it into H2A housing for agricultural workers.
Assisting with the fire were Parkdale and West Side Fire departments, and Hood River Fire and EMS.