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Woman dies, son badly burned in house fire in Boring

A grandson who stays in an adjacent trailer was not hurt. He used a chainsaw to try and open up a wall to rescue his grandmother.

BORING, Ore. — A woman died Friday morning and a son trying to rescue her was severely burned in a house fire in rural Boring, according to Sandy Fire Chief Phil Schneider.

A grandson who stays in an adjacent trailer was not hurt. He used a chainsaw in a desperate attempt to try and open up a wall to rescue his grandmother, said a neighbor.

Fire crews from at least four jurisdictions were dispatched to the fire in the 37100 block of Lusted Road.

A crew from the Gresham Fire Department was the first to arrive and found a severely burned man in the yard of a home, the front of it engulfed in flames.

He was taken by ambulance to the burn center at Emanuel hospital, Schneider said.

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Because of its rural location, it took about nine minutes for the first engine to arrive, Schneider said. Tanker trucks had to shuttle water to crews fighting the fire. There were arcing power lines. Ammunition was going off.

Firefighters knew there was a victim in the house, Schneider said. Their efforts to fight the fire focused on the woman's bedroom, he said, but they had no choice but to take a defensive stance.

"We know that with the fire involved there, it's at that point, it's not going to be a successful rescue," he said.

A neighbor, Melissa, said she was awakened at 3:12 a.m. by the sound of a chainsaw and told her husband, "Bob's house is on fire."

They called 911. They also called other neighbors close by and suggested using garden hoses to put out embers from the house fire.

The chainsaw she had heard was the grandson trying to cut through a wall of the house to rescue his grandmother, who needed a wheelchair. He found only her empty bed.

The grandson then went to the front door, opened it and saw Bob, his father, badly burned and crumpled on the floor. The man had been trying to rescue the old woman too - she was his mother. The son dragged his father to the driveway.

The family tragedy runs deep, Melissa said slowly between tears. Bob, who is partially disabled, had recently lost his wife to cancer. 

The grandson's girlfriend has set up a Gofundme account to raise money for Bob. 

"He is still in critical condition with third degree burns on 27 percent of his body, and life-threatening lung injuries," she told KGW in an email. "He will be in ICU for a minimum of 30 days and then at least a year of a hospital care environment and that is just the beginning of his recovery."