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Sunday, April 26, 2009

 

Man Fired, Returns Home To Find House Burning

kptv.com

 


Man Fired, Returns Home To Find House Burning
Fire Victim Worked As Emergency Counselor

POSTED: 5:20 pm PDT April 24, 2009
UPDATED: 4:16 pm PDT April 25, 2009

OREGON CITY, Ore. -- An Oregon City man just couldn't catch a break Friday -- first he lost his job and then he returned home to find his house on fire.

Victor Gonzalez said there was a silver lining to getting fired Friday.

"If I hadn't gotten fired from work, I wouldn't have come home, and I don't know how far the fire would've gotten. So I guess that's a good thing," he said.

The single father lost his job and his house in a matter of two hours Friday morning.

The fire broke out just after 9 a.m. at the house on Canyon Ridge Drive. Luckily, everyone got out safely thanks in part to Gonzalez's 12-year-old daughter.

He said he knew everything would be OK with his daughter there to help out.

Gonzalez said he worked as an emergency department social worker, helping people deal with traumatic situations like fires. His past work with emergency situations is helping him to deal with the situation.

"You can choose to laugh or you can choose to cry and I'm choosing to laugh because I don't want to know what's going to happen if I cry," he said.

Now half of his roof is gone, his top floor is charred and firefighters soaked every inch of his house. Gonzalez isn't sure what his insurance will cover or if the house can even be repaired.

For now, he's just grateful everyone's OK and proud to have his daughter Audriana in his corner.

"She's been my partner in raising the family since we went through a divorce, and we couldn't be where we are without her," he said.

Gonzalez said it all started at about 7 a.m. when he started a fire in his wood stove to keep his two daughters and his niece cozy. He was called into work unexpectedly, but then was told he was let go.

When he returned home, he saw smoke on the roof. Gonzalez made sure to get everyone out of the home and then told his oldest daughter, Audriana, to call 911.

 

Gonzalez tried to fight the fire with his garden hose, but it grew too big, too fast. Even when fire crews arrived, it took them 30 minutes to get the fire under control.

Fire investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the fire, but they believe it may have started from embers coming out of the wood stove chimney.


Link to 911 call and video

http://www.kptv.com/news/19276320/detail.html


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