A Keizer Fire District crewmember peels back a garage door to fight a fire at 1685 Dixon St. on Monday, May 14. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

By JASON COX
and ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Fire crews responded to a shop fire behind a home at 1685 Dixon Street NE Monday afternoon.

The homeowner, Richard DeVilliers, was making a salad in his kitchen when he caught a glimpse of smoke out his window. He discovered smoke billowing from a detached building behind the house, and saw a few flames from its carport.

“I ran out there with a big fire extinguisher and I started fighting it and it got over my head, so I got out,” he said. “I ran around and got the hose, but I just couldn’t fight it.”

Neighbors reported smoke in the area at 2:28 p.m. and called in with a fire two minutes later. Three engines, a ladder truck and medic units from Keizer Fire District responded. A Marion County Fire District No. 1 engine also came to the scene.

Damages to the shop and contents were estimated to be more than $60,000, said Rod Conway, deputy fire marshal for Keizer Fire District. DeVilliers had been in the shop performing some soldering work about an hour before the fire broke out. Conway suspected something left behind during that time sparked the blaze, but could not say for certain what it might have been.

“Our crew took a pretty good beating putting it out because it was the hottest time of the day and they had to cut holes in the side of the shop and peel back part of the roof just to get in position to attack it,” Conway said.

While Keizer Fire crews worked the blaze, the district received reports of a vehicle vs. pedestrian accident and a wire down. Members of Marion County Fire District No. 1 responded to the wire down while Salem Fire Department responded to the accident.