Retired Warrenton Firefighter and Family 030417

Retired Warrenton Firefighter and Family

Need the Courage and 

Help of His Brothers in Red

As House Burns

By Lisa Lamping

All Photos by Lisa Lamping

Home of Craig and Debbie Walter 

On Monday, February 27th, Marilyn Walter was out for a walk taking advantage of one of our rare dry days.  As she rounded the corner towards her home on the return leg, she suddenly looked up and saw smoke billowing out of the house next to her own. The house unfortunately belonged to her son and his wife, Craig and Debbie Walter located at 62 SW Main Ct. in Warrenton.

At approximately 10:45 Marilyn called 911 to report the fire. Warrenton Fire department arrived on scene and was given mutual aid assistance by fire departments from Astoria, Lewis and Clark, Seaside and Gearhart.

The fire was found primarily in the bonus room above the garage, which was located in proximity to the woodstove and its chimney. Firefighters cut their way in through the roofline and battled the large flames for about 45 minutes. Craig Walter’s son, Rick, stated, “there are several pony walls up there making it hard to get to all of it.”  

By 11:45 most of the fire and smoke was contained, but there were still hot spots to be monitored.  Warrenton fire department remained on scene until close to 2 pm assisting the family by helping them tarp furniture and things not damaged by the fire. They also formed a line to remove cherished keepsakes and boxes by passing them out the window to one another.  

Homeowner Craig Walters, a retired Warrenton firefighter, speculated on what might have been the ignition source, but could not be sure.  He stated that some fires can start because of a thing called pyrolysis–a condition, he explains, where the “wood around the chimney area can dry out over years and years to the point where the ignition point is very low and it does not take much for it to catch on fire.” Walters further stated that without a thorough investigation he could not be sure.

“At this point, we just have to do what we have to do,” said Craig’s wife Debbie. “We are all safe and we will be ok.”

All Photos by Lisa Lamping

Photos show interior damage of garage, and stairway areas.

All Photos by Lisa Lamping

Craig Walter discusses what is next with 

Coastal Restoration Crew.

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