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Stranger drags dog from home destroyed by fire

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    Gales Creek Area (KPTV) — A stranger dragged a dog out of a burning house in the Gales Creek area Friday afternoon, according to firefighters.

Part of Highway 6 was closed for several hours as firefighters battled the blaze on Northwest Lyda Drive, which is off Highway 6. The road opened again to traffic Friday evening.

Larry Simonton, the homeowner, told firefighters he lost power about 25 minutes before the fire and drove to a neighbor’s house to see if they had lost power too. The whole area was out, so he headed back home.

Simonton, in his 70s, says he arrived home to find two young men banging on his windows and doors to make sure everyone was out safe. When one of the men heard there might be a dog and cat inside, the homeowner says he volunteered to run inside to save them.

“I did not get his name, it was a passerby from along the highway that saw the smoke,” Simonton said.

Simonton’s dog, Sophia, was in her kennel when the fire started, he says.

“…[the stranger] got a hold of the kennel and dragged it out to the door where he was able to pick her up and get her away out of the house,” Simonton said.

Simonton said he also has a cat, which has not been located, according to fire officials. Simonton says he lost several other items of value to him.

“There’s some memories in there, some keepsakes I’m going to miss having,” Simonton said. “But that’s the way it is.”

Crews battled the blaze from Highway 6 instead of the homeowner’s driveway out of an abundance of caution, as they weren’t sure about any potential power line problems.

Firefighters say there were not injuries reported and the home is a total loss. They say the damage was so sever, they’re afraid they might not be able to determine a cause. It’s not clear if the power outage in the area had anything to do with it.

Forest Grove Fire, Banks Fire, Cornelius Fire, and Tualatin Fire were on scene Friday, as well as the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

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