Oregon house fire displaces 16 people

Oregon house fire displaces 16 people
Firefighters said about 20 people were inside this home when the fire started Saturday evening. No one was hurt. (Photo courtesy: Cornelius Fire Dept.)

CORNELIUS, Ore. – A fire destroyed a log-cabin style home south of Cornelius, Ore., and displaced about 16 people, Saturday evening.

About 20 people were inside the home when the fire started. No one was hurt.

The home, located in the 5400 block of Southwest Hergert Road, is about two miles south of Cornelius. The fire started at around 6 p.m. Firefighters called for additional crews with a second alarm about 45 minutes later.

“I think there’s about 10 or 12 people living there, then another, well people downstairs had two kids over, another guy had a friend downstairs, probably six or seven more people visiting,” said the home’s owner Elton Humiston.

Humiston told KATU the home is unofficial transitional housing for people who need a place to stay.

“I don’t care what anybody says out there, that’s lived here before. He’s a good man. Kind heart. I was in a mental hospital, came out, and he put me here and I’ve been here ever since. He’s an angel,” said Bill Hughes, who lived at the home.

Firefighters said they were familiar with the home. It was flagged as a place to bring Washington County sheriff’s deputies with them whenever there was a call there.

Witnesses said the fire started on the back deck and spread quickly. Firefighters said water had to be trucked in to the scene because there were no fire hydrants available in the rural area. The home's driveway was also very long, which made it difficult to establish a water supply.

Forty firefighters responded to the fire. They had the fire under control by about 8:20 p.m. The home is considered a total loss. There is no damage estimate at this time.

The Red Cross helped people displaced by the fire find a place to stay.

It’s unclear what started the fire.