Fire at his back, firefighters cut through bars to save man

GRESHAM, Ore. - Firefighters freed a man from his burning mobile home Thursday night, but first they had to saw through metal bars on a window.

According to Gresham Fire Battalion Chief Mark Maunder, the man was trying to save his cats and got trapped in a bedroom.

"The message here if you got a fire in your house, you need to get out," he said. "This is an example where somebody tries to do what they think is right, and they get trapped in a back bedroom - almost cost him his life."

The fire started just before 7 p.m. at the Hogan Meadows Mobile Home Park just off Southeast Hogan and Palmquist roads.

There was another person in the mobile home but that person ran out when the fire started. But the man who was rescued ran to his bedroom, and then couldn't escape because of bars over the window.

Firefighters placed an air mask on the man so he could breathe as he poked his head out of the barred window. Then firefighters used chainsaws with special blades to cut through the bottom of the bars. They pried them up and then pulled the man out. It took about 30 seconds.

Firefighters say the fire started around the kitchen. The cause is under investigation.

The two occupants of the mobile home, neither of whom has been identified, were taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

It is unknown at this time what happened to the cats.