ABERDEEN, Wash. - Keen eyes from a returning PUD Crew saved the lives of eight Aberdeen residents this morning.
The Aberdeen Fire Department reports a home in the 2400 block of Sumner had flames coming from the roof vents just before midnight when a PUD crew spotted the flames and contacted the residents. Fire crews were on scene dousing flames from midnight until about 2:30 this morning. Two adults and six children escaped unharmed, Battalion Chief Bill Maine tells KBKW that one family dog had to be rescued from the upstairs area, Maine said the assistance of the PUD crew was likely what saved the lives of this family.
With an estimated 85 thousand dollars in damages, mostly due to smoke and water damage, the cause and source of the fire remains under investigation.
The PUD line crew was returning to the utility shortly before midnight when they spotted flames roaring out of the attic vents of a home on Sumner Avenue in Aberdeen. “We immediately reported the fire and started pounding on the front door of the house,” said Line Foreman, Dale Benner. “A man answered and it appeared that we woke him up,” said Benner. “We could see kids sleeping in the front room...it was smoky inside.” The crew of seven worked together to evacuate all the residents. “No one hesitated,” said Benner. “We were going in and out of the house and doing head counts. We wanted to make sure everyone was out.”
The Aberdeen Fire Department reports the PUD line crew was in the right place at the right time. “The timing was incredible,” said Tom Hubbard, Aberdeen Fire Department Battalion Chief. “They got in when the fire was in the early stages and they were very instrumental is saving lives.”
The PUD line crew included Line Foreman Dale Benner, Journeyman Lineman Justin Mills, Journeyman Lineman Steve Tobin, Line Equipment Operator Natheon Camus, Head Groundman Steve Button, Flagger Toni Fairchild and Flagger Rachel Fredrickson
Benner said it was a team effort in an adrenaline-filled moment. “Everybody pulled together. We were just glad we were there to help.”