Flames from an early morning house fire in Astoria Wednesday shot so high they were visible from Warrenton, but fortunately the home's three occupants escaped unharmed.

The home, at 3821 Kensington Ave., is owned by Andrew and Nance Renwick, who reported the fire just after 4 a.m. Wednesday. When the first Astoria fire engine arrived, flames were shooting out of the roof. Firefighters helped the Renwicks and their tenant, Dr. John Foster, who rented a basement apartment, get out of the burning house. One of the family cats was also rescued during the fire by an Astoria firefighter and was later treated by a local veterinarian.

The fire went to two alarms and fire departments from Warrenton, Olney-Walluski, Lewis and Clark, Knappa, Gearhart and Seaside provided assistance. Medix ambulance also responded.

The fire was brought under control at approximately 6:29 a.m. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Fire and smoke damaged the entire structure, causing an estimated loss of $200,000 to the structure and its contents. The Clatsop County Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the residents with housing, food, and clothing. Anyone who would like to help the family may contact the Red Cross at 325-4721.

The Astoria Fire Department would like to remind everyone to check their smoke alarms monthly. Smoke alarms are great and they can alert the occupants of a fire in the residence, but residential fire sprinkler systems can extinguish a fire. Residential fire sprinkler systems provide a safer environment for families, protection of their investment and irreplaceable family possessions, and may even lower insurance rates.

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