Photo submitted by Keizer Fire District

The Keizer Fire District responded to a house fire Wednesday, Nov. 24. Clutter throughout the house impeded firefighters’ attack.

Neighbors heard an explosion and spotted smoke coming from the windows and reported the fire at 4015 Gary Street N.E., in Keizer. When firefighters arrived on scene they saw grey smoke coming from the eves of the house.

Arriving crews had to crawl over tall piles of clutter to access the rear bedroom where the fire was located. The entire house was encumbered with rubbish to the point access was extremely limited, Keizer Fire District officials said. The bedroom sustained moderate fire damage and suffered heavy smoke and heat damage. The rest of the home suffered moderate smoke damage.

The cause of the fire was traced back to a pile of combustibles placed too close to a wall heater. The pile covered the heater, which had turned on due to the extremely cold weather and some point during the early hours of the morning ignited items in front of it.

The alarm was received at 7:39 am and the first fire unit arrived on the scene at 7:46 am. The fire was declared under control at 8:07 am. Firefighters and other emergency workers were slowed by slick conditions and outside temperatures in the low 20’s. A total of three engines, one medic unit, one duty officer, one ladder truck and 20 firefighters responded to the incident.

Fire District officials remind residents to take caution when placing combustibles near wall or space heaters. Heaters can become very hot while in operation igniting objects placed too close. Maintain a three-foot safety clearance between the heater and combustibles whenever possible.