10:26pm – Report of a house fire with fire on the third floor at 628 SE 5th. Newport asking for back up from surrounding fire departments.
10:40pm – One floor of the home is fully engulfed in flames. Doesn’t look good. 1st floor and part of the second floor are already on fire. Ladder truck is enroute.
10:41pm – House has been vacant and for sale “for some time.”
10:47pm – Units from Yachats to Lincoln City as well as from Toledo FD heading for the fire. Home overlooks Port Dock 5.
10:58pm – Chief Rob Murphy has declared this a defensive fire. Nobody’s going inside to fight the fire. All firefighters on the outside are simply trying to prevent the fire from spreading to other homes.
10:56pm – Emphasis is now to save nearby houses. They’re especially concerned with the house on the west side of the burning home. Evacuations are imminent.
11:05pm- Ladder truck is on Bay Boulevard spraying water straight at the home – or what’s left of it. The strategy sounds like they’re trying to keep the flames and sparks from igniting adjacent homes or properties, including along or across Bay Boulevard.
11:06pm – Toledo, Depoe Bay and Seal Rock fire crews are on scene. Central Coast Fire also on scene. Firefighters from just about every fire department in the county is fighting the fire or preventing its spread.
11:25pm – Firefighters were considering entering the building to put the fire out faster but the decision from Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy is that it’s too dangerous and not worth the risk to firefighters. The home is already a total loss. Main effort now is to keep hammering the fire with water from several angles, especially at the southwest corner of the house.
Ladder truck from Lincoln City will be on scene within 15 minutes and that should hurry up the complete knock down of the fire. Crews be mopping up through much of the night.
11:57pm – Chief Murphy has authorized “some” interior firefighting.
The home was for sale for a half-million dollars.
Report Sunday Morning from Newport Fire Chief Rob Murphy
Newport Fire Department was dispatched at 10:26 PM Saturday evening to a reported structure fire on the 600 block of SE 5th Street. The first arriving fire unit reported a three story residence with fire involved in two stories of the structure. The fire was being driven by strong winds and access was complicated by a steep hillside accessed above SE Bay Blvd. Eventually a combination of multiple ladder trucks from below and additional hand lines from above extinguished the fire. Firefighters were on scene until about 4:00 AM conducting mop-up operations.
The house itself was not occupied but some nearby structures were temporarily evacuated. The section of Bay Blvd directly below the home remains temporarily closed until the structure can be evaluated for collapse potential.
No cause for the fire has yet been determined. The investigation continues.
Newport Fire Department responded with 3 fire engines, a 104’ ladder truck, a heavy rescue, several utility vehicles, and 17 personnel. Toledo, Seal Rock and Depoe Bay Fire Departments responded to the scene each with an engine and crew. North Lincoln Fire responded with a ladder truck to the scene and Central Coast Fire Department provided an engine and crew to man Newport’s main station in case of any additional emergency calls came up in the city. Neighboring departments provided a total of 15 personnel to help fight the fire. Newport Police Department, Newport Public Works and Pacific West Ambulance also assisted on scene.
Fire Chief Rob Murphy