Wednesday June 19, 2013
Biker Club Members Keep Salem Home From Going Up in SmokeStory by Tim King Video by Mike Kondash for Salem-News.com
Bikers Alert Family, Battle Flames Until Firefighters Arrived
(SALEM, Ore.) - Local motorcyclists from the Free Soul and Gypsy Joker motorcycle clubs gathering for pizza in Salem Friday night, didn't know that they would end up saving a family from a house fire.
And they definitely didn't expect to be the ones who would actually man the fire hose and evacuate the family. Even with small explosions taking place, these biker firefighters held their ground.
Mike Kondash recorded incredible video, as the vehicle fire spread to the home itself. But the constant flow of water was making a difference.
Another small explosion, soon a police officer arrived on the scene. The resident didn't know what started the fire.
He explained that he had just arrived home, and had no idea the vehicle had somehow started to burn.
The resident thanked the bikers for being there to help his family at such a critical time.
The fire kept burning for several minutes, but by this point, the house fire itself was out.
Mike Murdoch, one of the bikers directing water on the fire, said it had definitely gotten to the house and roof, but it appeared to mostly be out before fire crews arrived on the scene.
Salem is known for having a lightning fast fire department, but these bikers, located close to the fire, were responsible for keeping the fire from spreading rapidly to the wooden structure.
The Gypsy Joker and Free Soul Club members are also responsible for alerting the family to the fact that their home was on fire in the first place.
Then Salem Fire rolled up with multiple units, and prepared to put a final end to this blaze.
The house was charred, firefighters used axes to open the structure up in an effort to find hot spots.
The club members were two houses away when, according to Mike Kondash, they smelled smoke that at first made him think of a bonfire, then suddenly they were all running to the house, where the SUV was burning, so they could help a family avoid tragedy.
Both police and media typically brand motorcycle clubs as rivals. These club members from both the Free Souls and the Gypsy Joker clubs demonstrated that biker unity is present. This builds political solidarity, and it can even help put out fires.
Jerry Smith and Mark Kondash were among the bikers who helped evacuate the residents and battle the fire that happened at a residence in the 3500 block of Hawthorne Ave NE around 10:30 p.m. Friday.
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