Fire engulfs Woodburn home just minutes before midnight
WOODBURN, Ore. —
Just four minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve a fire broke out in a Woodburn home where squatters had been staying for several months.
Cellphone video captured by a neighbor, Rich Raymond, shows the home fully engulfed in flames. He was celebrating the New Year with friends and family when they noticed the blaze.
"It was literally the minute before New Year's," said Katie Feltz, who witnessed the fire. "One of the guys looked out and noticed the entire house on fire behind us. That was our New Year's. We rushed outside and the entire house was in flames."
"You could feel the heat from clear over here. It was pretty hot," said Nick Raymond, another witness who was standing on the other side of the street.
Squatters had been living in that home, along with the home across the street, for at least one year. One of the squatters, who did not want to be interviewed, said several people were staying in the home at the time, but only one person was inside during the fire. He said that person escaped with minor burns.
A representative with the Oregon State Fire Marshal could not verify the injuries. She said the investigation is in its early stages. Investigators have not even been allowed inside the building because the home may not be stable. The cause is still unknown.
Neighbors say squatters have been burning trash and tires at the home for the past month.