One of the largest structure fires Columbia County has seen happened at Multnomah Channel Yacht Club Moorage in Scappoose, Ore., on Tuesday February 5th, 2019. Scappoose Fire District (SFD) got the call about the fire at 5:59 p.m. in the 50900 block of Dike Road.
When the SFD got to the scene, one houseboat home was already engulfed in flames causing two other houseboats to catch fire. Many agencies got the call and responded: the SFD, Columbia River Fire and Rescue, Portland Fire, Clark County Fire, Columbia Sheriff’s Office, and the Scappoose Police Department. SFD, Clark County, and Portland called in 3 fire boats to the scene with Portland also sending in an engine crew.
The crews fought the blaze all night long. They closed the scene a little after 10 a.m. on Wednesday, February 6. Cheryl Engstrom, SFD public information officer, relayed, “The first two houseboats completely collapsed on themselves. They’re gone.” Engstrom also said that a solid standpipe system at the moorage aided fire crews in their efforts. Of the yacht club moorage Engstrom also said, “A lot of places in Portland don’t have that [standpipe systems], so these guys were on top of that.”
All three houseboats were lost. Two of the homes were uninhabited residences, but the couple living in the third home had to evacuate. Engstrom said the couple was able to escape with their dogs but sadly their cat was lost to the fire. The couple declined help from the Red Cross but they do have family in the area.
Cause of the fire is unknown but under investigation. Officials spent all of Wednesday investigating the scene. There were damages to multiple boats close to the fire but their owners have been contacted. Damages include cracked windows from radiating heat from the fire and other external damages.
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