Saturday, May 5, 2012


Three Joseph volunteer firefighters living at Wallowa Lake were among 17 who fought a late-night fire at Our Little Store in Joseph Wednesday, May  2.

Yellow tape secures fire scene
Assistant Fire Chief Matt Walker and Firefighters Dusty Creps and Doug Buska responded to the blaze on Engine 5 from the lake fire station, joining nine Joseph and five Enterprise firefighters on the scene. Even though the three fought the fire, they also were designated to leave and respond to any other emergency in the area served by Joseph and Enterprise fire departments.  

Even though it was nearly midnight, firefighters arrived within 13 minutes of being paged from their homes.

The fire appeared to have started just outside the back door of the store after closing. It traveled up the wall and into the roof and attic of the building. Investigators from the State Fire Marshal and Oregon State P0lice spent all day Thursday at the scene but were unable to determine a cause, according to Fire Chief Tom Clevenger.

There was substantial damage to the exterior and interior of the convenience store and its appliances and merchandise. 

Clevenger credited firefighters with quick action, limiting damage to the store and preventing it from spreading to the adjoining Timberline Realty office and American Legion hall. Clevenger, a retired career firefighter, said it was "as good a job as I have ever seen from any paid, experienced department."

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