Fire victim in critical condition

April 24, 2002 12:00 am
Firefighters battled a house fire in Baker City Tuesday morning for more than two hours. A resident of the house was in critical conditions this morning at Legacy Emanuel Burn Center in Portland. (Baker City Herald photograph by Kathy Orr).
Firefighters battled a house fire in Baker City Tuesday morning for more than two hours. A resident of the house was in critical conditions this morning at Legacy Emanuel Burn Center in Portland. (Baker City Herald photograph by Kathy Orr).

By CHRIS COLLINS

Of the Baker City Herald

A Baker City woman is in critical condition today at Legacy Emanuel Burn Center in Portland with burns sustained in a Tuesday morning house fire in southeast Baker City.

Renay Moore, 32, of 1091 Elm St., is being treated for burns over 35 percent of her body, according to a hospital spokeswoman. She was a tenant in the house, which is owned by Tom Keaton.

The fire apparently started when a three-burner gas-fueled camp stove flared up while Moore was lighting it in a bedroom of the house, said Capt. Fred Hertel of the Baker City Fire Department.

The stove was found on the floor of the bedroom. The fire spread quickly, fueled by the gas from the stove, Hertel said.

When Fire Chief Tim Frost arrived he heard the gas tank explode.

"Flames were shooting out to the sidewalk when we got there," Hertel said.

Moore came staggering down the sidewalk telling rescue workers that she was injured, he said. She was transported by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Health Services and later flown to the Portland hospital.

Because of Moore's injuries, she was unable to tell firefighters exactly what had happened, he said.

Moore's two children, Kelly Suitter, 15, and Michael Suitter, 14, were at home. They were not injured. They are staying with their aunt and uncle, Terry and Kimberly Suitter of Baker City.

Michael ran to a neighbor's house and the neighbor reported the fire, according to Terry Suitter.

The fire department was dispatched at 10:11 a.m. Fifteen firefighters responded and spent about two hours at the scene. No firefighters were hurt.

Hertel estimated the damage to the house at about $55,000. It was insured. A bus-size recreational vehicle parked on the south side of the property also sustained exterior damage in the fire. Nearby houses were not threatened, according to Hertel.

The fire has been referred to the Baker City Police for further investigation, according to Lt. Vernon Hull.