10/25/2014

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Elderly couple dies in Salem fire

Elderly couple dies in Salem fire

SALEM, Ore. – An elderly couple died in a mobile home fire in Salem Friday night.

It happened in the Arrow Head Mobile Home Park in the 5400 block of Portland Road NE at around 7 p.m. 

Neighbor Rick Beal said he tried to get inside the house to help the couple after he heard them yelling.

"I was home and the first thing that I noticed was the gal next door on this side and they were yelling and I looked out the kitchen and I saw them yelling," Beal said. "I came around the side to see if they got out and the windows started popping out and the smoke really started coming up, and then I thought I better not try for it."

Multiple 9-1-1 callers reported seeing large flames above the roof of the home.

When fire crews arrived, they found the home fully engulfed in flames and evacuated neighboring homes.

It’s unclear what caused the fire.

Firefighters said they could not enter the home until they put out the fire. When they went inside, they found the couple dead inside the home. The state medical examiner said they appear to have died of smoke inhalation.

Their names have not been released.

Neighbors have been placing flowers in front of the home. They said the couple had lived at the home for about 10 years.

"What can I say? We're going to miss the heck out of them," said neighbor Melanie Benet.

Firefighters told neighbors they may never know what caused the fire because it burned so hot.

One firefighter was injured while fighting the fire, but did not need immediate medical attention.

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