Bystanders credited with saving residents during fire

Bystanders credited with saving residents during fire »Play Video

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- A house fire did some serious damage to a Roseburg residence late Monday night.

According to the Roseburg Fire Department, two coworkers were on a break outside the TMS Call Center, when they noticed a fire burning on the back porch of a two story residence at 434 N.E. Casper St.

Joseph Roach, an employee, said he called 911 while Domenic Meola began banging on the front door in an effort to wake up the residents. 

The home owner, Michelle Devlin, was inside the house with her two children, a friend, and her pets.

The fire department says Meola woke up Devlin, who began yelling for her family to get out of the house. 

All of the occupants were able to get out, however a cat died as a result of the fire. 

Devlin’s son, Shawn, attempted to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher and then a garden hose but the fire grew too fast.

When firefighters and police officers arrived on scene, the fire was fully involved on the rear of the residence and flames were shooting approximately 20 feet in the air. 

Firefighter’s efforts were hampered because there were numerous rounds of ammunition going off as from the area of the fire. Due to the size of the fire, police officers began evacuating residents from neighboring houses.

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in about 30 minutes, according to officials.

Fire investigators that were called to the scene determined that the fire may have possibly started from a food smoker. They say the investigation was hampered due to the instability of the rear deck where the fire originated.

The Roseburg Police Department, Douglas County Fire District No. 2, Avista Utilities, Pacific Power and Red Cross all responded to the scene to assist.

The house, which is valued at $121,000, received about $50,000 in fire damage and $25,000 in damage to the contents according to authorities.