Nobody injured, but fire destroys abandoned motor home…
Investigators say a fire that consumed a small motor home yesterday afternoon was intentionally set. Just after 3:30 PM Monday a billowing cloud of black smoke enveloped the neighborhood near 6th Street and Kingwood. Responding firefighters discovered a short Class-A motor home, parked in the alley, fully engulfed in flames. Siuslaw Valley Fire Marshall Sean Barrett said the blaze was knocked down within five minutes, but not before the vehicle was completely gutted. Because of the heavy smoke, police and volunteers blocked off several side streets as a safety precaution.
Barrett said the motor home, registered to James and Cynthia Leisure, had been parked at the home, unoccupied, for at least three years. He also said the fire appeared to be intentionally set. There was evidence that some sort of accelerant… fuel or some other flammable product … was used to help spread the fire. Police and fire officials are continuing their investigation.
Port of Siuslaw Office Progressing
The Port of Siuslaw Commission moved one step closer to a new home yesterday morning when they approved a bid to prepare the site of a manufactured building that will serve as the home of the Port District. Interim Port Manager Suzy Lacer said M-Space, the company that is supplying the building itself, received the $27-thousand bid for site work.
The Commission is working on a ‘dual track’ with simultaneous applications with the City of Florence for Design Review of the building as well as building permits. Lacer says the Planning Commission will hear their application March 13th. Once approval is gained from the city, things will move quickly.
Lacer – “We hope to be in it by Rhody Days. We know that that is ambitious, but that is our hope.”
The new building will be placed at the Port of Siuslaw RV Park, just off Harbor Street. No plans have been announced yet for the future of the current office at Nopal and Bay.
Commissioners are also at work this week to find a replacement for the previous manager, Mark Freeman, who resigned in August. Lacer says interviews are slated for later this week with three finalists… all of them from the immediate area.
Police Chief Set to be Sworn In
He’s been on the job already for six weeks, but Florence Police Chief Ray Gutierrez will be formally sworn in this evening at City Hall. Gutierrez, a 30-year veteran of the Florence department took over as chief last month following the retirement of Maury Sanders. The swearing-in was set for this week’s City Council Meeting to allow family members to be present.
Siuslaw Bank in Mapleton Making Progress
Repairs are continuing on the Mapleton branch of Siuslaw Bank. Inundated by flood waters in January, the building has been undergoing renovations since the water receded. A bank spokesperson said all Mapleton accounts are being served at the Florence office. None of the contents of safe deposit boxes were damaged. No reopening date has been announced.
Athlete of the Week Saves the Best For Last
Siuslaw Basketball standout Sam Johnson is Coast Radio Sports Athlete of the Week. The Viking Sophomore scored seven points in Siuslaw’s season ending victory over the Sutherlin Bulldogs, but the most important basket came with 4-tenths of a second remaining to lift the Vikings to a two point victory.
Honorable Mention goes to Junior forward and post Jake Thompson who led scoring with 22 points and had nine rebounds. He ended the season as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 13 points per game.
On the court tonight, the Lady Vikings will take on the Douglas Trojans in North Bend for a game to determine seeding in the regional basketball playoffs. The winner will travel to Mazama Friday night; the loser to Henley. Tonight’s game tips off at seven… the pregame show at 6:45.