At roughly 5:45 PM Monday evening, the Salem Fire Department responded to a two alarm house fire at the corner of North Main Street and Emma Street in Salem.
It was at the home of Washington County Assessor Jason Cockerill and his wife, Emily, and their three young daughters.
According to Salem Fire Department Chief Tom Day, the department was dispatched to a working structure fire immediately after the call came in.
A week ago on New Year’s Eve, fire damaged the home of Lonnie Winslow, which is just across the street from Cockerill.
“A week ago I was standing out here holding my neighbor’s hand,” he said.
Emily Cockerill said she was in the kitchen when she said she heard a noise coming from upstairs.
“It sounded like someone was breaking in upstairs,” she said. “Like someone had a hammer. I got kind of scared. I put the girls in the TV room and quietly went halfway up the stairs. I could see the door to the third floor and it was bright orange. I thought….what do I have on the third floor that’s orange? Then I heard a loud POP — like you would hear in a wood stove. Then I knew.”
She said they had been holding something in their home for the Winslows and were able to get that out without it being damaged.
Neighbors Steve and Angela Kelly opened up the former North Side Home Improvements so Jason and Emily could store some of their things inside from the first floor of their home.
The two firetrucks were able to control the fire in about 25-30 minutes.
A cause of the fire is still under investigation.