PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Separate residential fires killed two men
and seriously injured two young brothers on Christmas.
The brothers were among eight family members driven from their
two-story northeast Salem apartment around 2 a.m. after the
building erupted in flame.
Victor Titarenko, 12, was burned over nearly 65 percent of his
body, including his face, arms, chest and legs, according to a
spokeswoman at Legacy Emanuel Hospital and Health Center, where he
was taken by emergency helicopter.
His brother Roman, 6, with whom he shared a bedroom, was taken
to the hospital by ambulance and was being treated for burns over
22 percent of his body.
The Titarenko brothers' parents and four siblings, ages 7 months
to 16 years, escaped unharmed. The boys' teenage sister was first
to run from the apartment and seek help, said Capt. Marshall Rash
of Salem Fire Department.
A neighbor boy ran to the burning apartment to make sure
everyone was awake, he said. The boy did not go upstairs, where
Roman and Victor were injured.
Investigators had not determined the cause of the fire but think
it was accidental.
In a separate fire in Hillsboro, two men from Guatemala died
when fire destroyed the middle unit of a triplex.
The men, whose names were not available, appear to have died of
smoke inhalation, said Jeff Jurrens, Hillsboro fire marshal. The
cause of death and their identities were pending autopsies
Thursday.
Investigators concluded the fire was accidental, apparently
starting in a living room couch and burning in a pattern consistent
with a smoldering fire often caused by smokers, Jurrens said.
One man was found in the living room; the second was in a
bedroom.
The pair had lived in the building for more than a year, said
Denzil Scheller, who owns the building. "They were great guys,"
Scheller said. "They were friendly. There were no problems. They
always said, 'Hi,' when I was there. They were good folks."
Two smoke alarms containing batteries were in the apartment, but
neither neighbors nor arriving firefighters heard them. Heat from
the fire damaged the devices, making it impossible to tell whether
they were working, Jurrens said.


(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)