Just before 1 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, South Lane County Fire and Rescue (SLCFR) crews were dispatched to a structure fire in the 1000 Block of South 10th Street in Cottage Grove.
Fire crews arrived to find heavy fire in the kitchen of the home, which caused significant damage to the house, and were able to keep the fire contained to the room of origin with light fire damage to a neighboring room.
Crews were met by the family outside the home, who were alerted to the fire by their smoke detectors.
“Smoke detectors saved this family’s lives,” said Division Chief Joe Raade in a statement.
One hospitalization resulted from the fire and two cats died from the event.
SLCFR Fire Marshal Dan Solesbee determined the fire was the result of the use of an extension cord in the kitchen of the home.
The house fire is the sixth in Cottage Grove since the beginning of August.
Community relief efforts for the family were organized on social media Sunday, spearheaded by family friend Trisha West.
“I have people as far down south as Rice Hill asking me to come down and pick things up,” said West.
As of Monday, donations of clothing, toys, games, shoes and backpacks had been collected for the three children of the household, whose belongings were damaged or ruined in the fire.
Resident of the burned home Cyndi Moore was solaced by the outpouring of support from the community.
“I’m overwhelmed by all of the support and love from people that literally don’t even know my name, but they’re willing to give whatever they can to make sure my children have shoes on their feet,” she said. “I’m still processing it.”
Moore and her family moved to Cottage Grove this February, but already feel accepted into the fold of the small town.
“I am a living testimony of the love of people here,” she said. “I just want to thank everybody who has bent over backwards to be with us and protect us and stand up for us.”
The move to Cottage Grove also marked the first time the family had their own house, a milestone the Moores had promised would earn their two older daughters pet cats.
“When we moved in and got settled, for their birthday we got them each a cat,” Moore said. “But the cats didn’t make it.”
Moore recalled the night of the fire and scrambling to get her children out to the front lawn.
“My kids were screaming for the cats,” she said.
Moore’s husband ran to the side of the house to the glass doors
“And he kicked down the glass doors to try to save the cats and in doing so nearly killed himself,” said Moore. “It did some pretty good internal damage to his leg. … He was holding his leg together.”
Paramedics were credited with saving the man’s life.
A Gofundme account has been set up by Texas-based family member Megan Brown under the title “Devastating House Fire” and is currently accepting monetary donations. The account has been verified by local family members and is intended to pay for the residual costs of the family’s breadwinner losing the ability to stand for an extended period of time.
Meanwhile, the drive to collect donations continues locally and West encourages those looking to lend aid to contact her directly.
“If they want to help out, they can contact me on Facebook or call me at 541-870-3910,” she said.