Fire guts home on Altoona/Pillar Rock Road


Fire guts home on Altoona Pillar Rock Road. Photo courtesy of Steve Lewis, Skamokawa Fire Department captain.

Early Sunday morning at 2:06 a.m., the Wahkiakum County Sheriff's Department received a call about a structure fire, including the garage and deck, at a home in the 1300 block of Altoona/Pillar Rock Road.

The caller said that all 10 people in the house were able to evacuate and were safely outside. There were no reports of injuries at that time.

The Grays River Fire Department was first on the scene, according to Skamokawa Fire Department Captain Steve Lewis who arrived around 2:30 a.m. Lewis, who would arrive to find a fully engulfed garage and home, took incident command.

More volunteers arrived from Skamokawa Fire Department, the District 4 Fire Department, the Naselle Fire Department and the Cathlamet ambulance.

According to Lewis, many of the people in the home that night were visiting for the holiday weekend. One was having trouble sleeping and saw the flames in time to get everyone out. They were able to get their cars out of the garage before it was fully engulfed.

A minor brush fire started as well.

"Thankfully we had District 4's brush truck there and crew," Lewis said. "They did a tremendous job taking care of any little sparks."

The Department of Natural Resources also responded to the scene.

Crews had little trouble accessing the house which was close to the road, Lewis said. The difficulty was in traveling the seven miles down Altoona/Pillar Rock Road to get there.

"Trying to get a truck back there with that much weight, it's not something you can be racing back there, it's going to be done safely," Lewis said.

Lewis was on scene till 6:30 a.m. The Grays River Fire Department cleared the scene at 10:23 a.m.

The homeowners had family in the area, according to Lewis, and Red Cross was contacted.


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