SUTHERLIN — When Amber and Randy Brandies noticed the two cars engulfed in flames while driving by a residence on South Calapooya Street early Saturday morning, they didn’t hesitate.
They turned around on nearby Southwest Valentine Avenue in Sutherlin and immediately called 911, they said.
After the fire was reported at 2:11 a.m. Saturday, firefighters arrived to find flames from two fully engulfed cars spreading quickly to the nearby single-family structure.
The blaze at the home near Driftwood Market in Sutherlin was quickly upgraded to a two-alarm fire, drawing a total of 33 firefighters from Sutherlin, Fair Oaks, Kellogg, Oakland, Douglas Fire District No. 2 and others to the scene.
Sutherlin Battalion Chief Avery Hazzard said the fire was knocked down in about 45 minutes. Hazzard said the house is uninhabitable and six occupants were displaced with help from the Red Cross.
Both could see frantic owners rushing numerous pets out of the home, including dogs and birds.
“I was like, put them in my car (to keep them warm),” she said.
“It’s all I could do,” Amber Brandies said. “I wish I could do more.
No humans were injured as a result of the fire. Firefighters confirmed that at least one dog perished in the fire and perhaps other pets as well.
As Amber Brandies talked about the pets that did not make it from inside the house, a cry of anguish could be heard from up the darkened sctreet..
“I’m guessing that’s what they just told them,” Amber said, her voice breaking.
She paused for a moment.
“It’s heart-breaking,” Brandies said. “Because I know how they feel. They’re like children.”
Firefighters were still on scene as of 5 a.m. Saturday. The fire is under investigation by the Oregon State Police and State Fire Marshal’s office.