VENETA, Ore. (KMTR) - Fire investigators have put the damage estimate at over $200,000 from a Monday afternoon blaze at a home and attached cottage on Bolton Hill Road, near Veneta. The American Red Cross is helping the eight people who live there.
Firefighters say when they arrived the flames had gutted the inside of the home. A narrow driveway kept crews from getting ladder trucks close enough to fight the flames from the roof.
Justin Koviach, who had just moved to the area from Louisiana, said he smelled smoke from his room.
“Next thing I know, the room was filled with smoke within ten seconds. And next thing I know, I ran down the stairs, and that was even worse than upstairs. I had to step back and catch my breath and run down and kick the door, and push it down. And I see that everybody was okay, so I followed them out.”Koviach says he lost everything to the fire, including his wallet, birth certificate, Social Security card and all of his clothes.