House fire wakes Shady Cove neighborhood

Cleo Lewis woke early Tuesday morning to the sound of fire trucks headed for a fire across the street from her house on Penny Lane in Shady Cove.

At first, the 79-year-old saw smoke coming out the back of the neighbor's house from her bedroom window; but by the time she put on her robe and joined the other neighbors outside, she saw flames coming out from behind the house.

"All of us stood in our pajamas and watched it burn," Lewis said. By the time the fire was over, she said the house looked gutted and beyond repair.

The house at 128 Penny Lane belonged to Mark and Dahn Rainey, who were home at the time with their young son.

"They're a nice, young couple, very neighborly, very nice and always wiling to help if you ask them," Lewis said.

The fire was first spotted by another neighbor living directly next door to the burning building who looked out her window after feeling intense heat and noticed flames coming from behind the house, Lewis said. The neighbor proceeded to pound on the door to alert the residents to get them out of the house.

Lewis said firefighters concentrated on putting out a fire in an old live oak tree behind the house that was taller than the house itself and succeeded in preventing it from spreading to other trees.

"The whole top of the tree is burnt," she said.

The Raineys have been doing a lot of work improving the old house that was built in the 1920s, Lewis said. She understood the couple had good insurance and said, "I think they'll be OK."

A press release from Jackson County Fire District No. 4 reported the fire began at 2:11 a.m. It added that when fire crews arrived they found a large fire on the back deck and the back of the house, with the fire extending to the attic and a single room on the second floor.

The fire caused an estimated $175,000 of damage destroying most of the back of the house, the roof and the belongings. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but not considered suspicious.

Because of its location, the fire had not set off any smoke detectors, said Shady Cove Fire Chief Bob Miller. Located within city limits, not a lot of dry brush was around for the fire to spread. Miller said the Raineys are displaced and probably staying with relatives

All the residents and the pets were safely removed from the house. "Everybody's safe and they got the fish out," Lewis said.

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