GOSHEN, Ore. — The local firefighting community is rallying around one of its own after a late night house fire. A former Goshen volunteer firefighter and his wife lost their home and belongings in the fire.
Tom and Christy McClellan lost everything in this fire, but they’re thankful everyone is ok including their dogs. They’re even more thankful for the firefighters, a lot of them volunteers.
The fire call went out around 11:30 p.m. Monday night. It didn’t take long for Goshen Fire Chief David Wolting to realize the home they were responding belonged to one of his guys. “They are family,” said Wolting.
For about 15 years Tom served as a volunteer fire captain, in Goshen.
The Tuesday morning light spotlighted the loss as the McClellan’s got a look at the devastation. “I am used to being in fires, but its different when it’s, you know adrenaline comes on pretty quick,” said Tom McClellan.
“I went inside of it and she had dolls everywhere and china cabinets it was beautiful and now its just black,” said McClellan’s 12-year-old neighbor Blake Goodrich.
Christy was house-sitting in another city. Tom was sleeping when the fire started, but he awoke to smoke. “The door was hot and, so I grabbed a pair of clothes and dogs,” said Tom McClellan. “Smoke smoke, so much smoke you can see flames in the back, ” said McClellan’s neighbor Emily Bowman.
The couple’s daughter, Betty Lou Monson is also a Springfield firefighter. Monson is on her honeymoon right now, but grew up in this home. Christy McClellan says Monson would have been on duty. “They are ok, upset, but ok,” added Tom McClellan.
The support is widespread from the volunteers, to neighboring districts. “I have to give full praises to the volunteers they never get enough credit they were here from 11:30 p.m. Monday night or whatever time till 4 Tuesday morning.”
The couple has insurance, “To help heal and distract, we are going to go look at new house plans this afternoon,” said Tom McClellan. Already looking to what the future, one they say will likely still be in Goshen.
Preliminary reports show it looks like it was an electrical fire caused by an extension chord.