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In the city limits of Cottage Grove and Creswell

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South Lane County Fire and Rescue News Blog

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Out of District Fire Response

I would like to update and correct some of the information circulating regarding the structure fire in the 37000 block of Row River Road in Dorena on February 14, 2015. As previously noted, this fire was outside the protection boundaries for South Lane County Fire & Rescue (SLCFR). While we do not cover this area for fire protection, it is within our ambulance service area.

The media has reported SLCFR did not initiate a fire response to this incident, and only sent it’s medic unit. This reporting is inaccurate and not representative of all the facts. Upon notification by Central Lane 911 the victim had re-entered the burning structure and was trapped, SLCFR fire units immediately responded to affect a potential rescue. The preservation of life is our highest priority, and we have a policy allowing an out of District fire response where a life is immediately threatened by fire.

While responding to the fire, I was notified by Central Lane 911 the victim was out of the structure and a rescue was no longer required. It was at this point, the fire response was terminated per District policies. SLCFR sympathizes with the victim and neighbors for the loss of the residence and we are grateful the victim survived without major injury. The issue of unprotected lands is Statewide, and previous efforts to resolve it by incorporating all unprotected developed areas into fire response districts has failed due to the issues surrounding taxes. There are options for Dorena residents to annex into SLCFR’s District but this would require paying taxes.

Thank you,

John Wooten, BS, NR-P

Fire Chief

South Lane County Fire & Rescue

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