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Sunday fire destroys residence: Riggins man suffers burns in Dec. 28 incident

Credit: Contributed photo / Joy Swift

RIGGINS – A backdraft from a wood stove quickly set a Riggins home ablaze Sunday afternoon, destroying the residence and causing minor injuries to the owner.

Mike Sohrakoff suffered burns on his leg and foot as a result of the Dec. 28 incident; however, he was not transported for treatment, according to Riggins Fire Chief Jeff Joyce. His single story, one bedroom home at 1122 South Main Street, purchased just a month prior, was gutted by the fire. A fifth-wheel trailer parked behind was believed totaled due to heat damage.

“And he had just paid that off last month,” Joyce said.

The fire was called in at 4:41 p.m. (PT) and was responded to by seven personnel and two trucks each from RFD and Salmon River Rural Fire Department, according to Joyce. Sohrakoff opened the door to the wood stove, and flames shot out, catching his pants on fire and then an adjacent wall. He along with companion Lissa Colyar, and a dog, escaped the home.

“It spread quickly, and four minutes later the whole house was engulfed,” Joyce said. Firefighters’ main concern, he said, was cooling down a 300-gallon fuel tank and seven propane tanks, all adjacent to the house. As it was a steel building, firefighters fought the blaze from the entryways, explained Joyce, because when the wood burns away, “the whole roof comes down.”

The fire was controlled after three hours, and firefighters patrolled the scene through the night for hot spots.

At this time it was undetermined whether the home was insured. The City of Riggins Salmon River Burnout Fund provided Sohrakoff $500 in assistance funds, and the American Red Cross was contacted for further relief.


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