Family loses pets and possessions in fire

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UMAPINE — Officials continue to investigating a Wednesday evening fire that was put out once and then started up again around midnight and destroyed the home.

The first fire started around 7 p.m. Wednesday at 52812 Highway 332. Family members said that after putting out the fire, the Milton-Freewater Rural Fire Department cleared the house for re-habitation. Instead, occupants Roy Cate Jr., his wife Miranda Cate and their two daughters left to spend the night with family.

“If they [had spent the night] out there, I would be digging out bones,” Roy Cate Sr., the father of Roy Cate Jr., said this morring

Shortly after midnight the fire flared up, but this time firefighters were unable to save the structure.

Two dogs and one cat died in the blaze.

“We jumped in the car and run out there and there is nothing, I mean there is nothing,” Roy Cate Sr. said.

The Cates, who moved into the house three weeks ago, lost all their possessions and had no renter’s insurance.

“My granddaughter came up to me and said, ‘Papa I don’t even have clothes for school,’” Cate said.

A fund has been set at Baker Boyer Bank for the Cate family. To give, go to any branch office and ask to donate to the Umapine Fire Donatation Fund.

Investigators say they hope to have determined a cause of the fire by Monday.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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