8 December 2014
Investigators looking into cause, cannot rule out arson.
Fire destroyed one building and slightly damaged an adjacent apartment building early yesterday morning.
The offices of Emergence Treatment at 1932 Pine Street were destroyed and the law offices of Scott Bailey and D. Ron Gerber sustained heavy smoke and water damage, but Gerber said their files were intact.
The building, owned Gerber, is likely a total loss.
Crews were able to limit damage to an adjacent apartment building.
Units first on the scene at 6:30 AM said flames were shooting out a back window, directly toward a retail and apartment combination owned by Stecker and Vanessa Buss. Stringent fire codes and a valiant effort by firefighters prevented worse damage.
Investigators said the fire in Emergence appears to have started near the electrical panel. However, arson investigators from the Oregon State Police are on the scene today to help determine the cause.
No damage estimates have been released and nobody was injured.
Get that ticking time bomb out of your home quickly after the holidays
You may not even have your Christmas tree up yet, but when you do, you might want to start thinking about what you’re going to do with it after the season.
Siuslaw Valley Fire Marshall Sean Barrett says a Christmas Tree is really nothing more than a ticking time bomb. After being in a warm and dry house for two or three weeks, it can become a huge fire risk.
To help you get it out of the house quickly, volunteer firefighters will be picking up trees on Saturday, December 27th, then again on January 3rd.
There’s a five-dollar suggested donation for hauling it off; all trees will be mulched.
Barrett says call the fire station at 997-3212 to get on the list.
Community Christmas Baskets seeking donations
The annual distribution of Christmas food boxes for hungry families is less than two weeks away. One organizer of the project says they’ve raised about $10-thousand already. But, says Carol Bennett, that’s still about six-or-seven-thousand short of their target.
Carol Bennett – “I hope that the community comes forward and helps us because we really need to feed these people.”
For more than 35 years, members of the Florence chapter of Soroptimist International have raised money, bought groceries and distributed the food boxes for as many as 500 households each year. Bennett says this year their target is 400 families and about three-thousand people. She’s been active for the past 15 years and says:
Carol Bennett – “It is my Christmas. I really like to give to the community and, uh, I obviously give to my children too, but I, it troubles me to see people be hungry.”
Donations can be mailed to Florence Soroptimist at PO Box 1209; or dropped off at Hoberg’s Auto Repair on Highway 101. The distribution is set for Siuslaw Middle School on December 20th.
Elected officials go to work early
The first two days of a three day orientation for newly elected officials in Florence will be held next week at City Hall.
Monday, December 15th Councilors-elect Ron Preisler, Susy Lacer and George Lyddon will join Mayor Elect Joe Henry and incumbent councilor Joshua Greene for a seven hour training session at City Hall that will cover everything from “government 101” to public meetings, labor relations and council rules.
Day two, Tuesday, will be seven hours of focusing on developing a work plan.
The third day of orientation will be scheduled individually with each elected official and will consist of tours of all the city’s departments and operations.