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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow FIRE GUTS COVE HOME

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FIRE GUTS COVE HOME

TOTAL LOSS: Fire destroyed the home of Rick Severson and his family Wednesday morning. The double-wide mobile home was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 9 a.m. (The Observer/CHRIS BAXTER).
TOTAL LOSS: Fire destroyed the home of Rick Severson and his family Wednesday morning. The double-wide mobile home was completely engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived just before 9 a.m. (The Observer/CHRIS BAXTER).

T.L. Petersen

The Observer

The kids were up and off to school and other Wednesday morning activities. Mom and Dad had left the house.

And within minutes, shortly before 9 a.m., the 1970s-era double-wide mobile home at 1302 Hill Street in Cove was engulfed in flames.

"It was fully involved when we got there," Ron Warnock of the Cove Fire Department said this morning.

Warnock and other Cove firefighters, working just blocks from their own fire hall, were quickly joined by volunteer firefighters from the Union and La Grande Rural fire departments.

There was concern at first that the only fire hydrant was a 2 1/2-inch hydrant at the bottom of the hill that gives the street its name, Warnock said, but a second, much more modern hydrant connected to Cove's recently improved water system was located.

Working together, firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to any other buildings, but they were unable to contain or stop the fire from burning through the mobile home.

The Rick Severson family that lived in the home, two adults, their four children and three foster children, lost nearly everything that had been in the home. The children range in age from pre-school to eighth-grade.

By Wednesday afternoon, the Cove community was already working to help.

The Cove School was serving as a drop-off point and information center for the family, with clothing, money and other supplies being dropped off at the school office.

"We're gathering items at the school," according to school office staff this morning. "Questions should be directed to Barbie Hemmer at the school."

The Severson family was able to stay with relatives in Cove Wednesday night, and efforts were under way today to find them a rental home in Cove.

The fire is still under investigation. A representative of the State Fire Marshal's Office in Pendleton was in Cove Wednesday afternoon going through the remains.

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