Family farm in Sublimity destroyed by 5-alarm fire

Several buildings and pets were lost in the fire

A family farm in Sublimity, Oregon was destroyed by a fire on July 22, 2017. (Courtesy of Oliva Chytka)
A family farm in Sublimity, Oregon was destroyed by a fire on July 22, 2017. (Courtesy of Oliva Chytka)


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A farm that had been with a family for decades was destroyed Saturday by a fire that whipped through the property and burned for hours.

At least 40 units from 5 different fire departments worked on the farm fire in Sublimity on July 22, 2017. (KOIN)
At least 40 units from 5 different fire departments worked on the farm fire in Sublimity on July 22, 2017. (KOIN)

Multiple fire agencies responded to the fire on Anderson Road in Sublimity, which started in a barn before moving to adjacent buildings.

According to the Jefferson Fire chief, the barn, seed shed, chicken coop, tool shed, pig bard and the old homestead house were lost in the fire.

The buildings were all close to each other, making it easier for the flames to spread.

“A lot of the structures are 80 plus years old and dried out wood, it doesn’t take much for those to burn,” the owner’s nephew, Chris Chytka said.

The only structures that were not destroyed were 2 mobile homes where the owners were living.

GoFundMe for family farm

The fire also burned a large hay field, but most of the hay had already been baled before the fire broke out.

According to Chytka, his elderly aunt and uncle who live there were asleep in their mobile home when the fire started in the barn, just a few feet away from their room.

“There was the damage is at the back of the [mobile home], that was their bedroom,” Chytka said. “They were asleep at the time of the fire.”

The couple’s daughter saw the flames and called 911.

“She woke up my aunt and uncle and got them out of the house and I think from there, the wind just took off,” Chytka said.

They were able to get out of the area safely and no one was injured.

The family is worried about several animals that may be lost. They said at least one chicken, some peacocks and a cat were likely lost. One of their dogs was found hiding under the mobile home.

Chytka told KOIN 6 News his grandfather who owned the farm before his aunt and uncle died 14 years ago.

“Today would have been his 105th birthday,” he said. “The kids always had memories with Grandpa. Sitting in the front room with him, cracking walnuts and eating walnuts, and spending time with Papa and stuff … so there are a lot of memories from all that that aren’t totally gone. But it still hurts to see that stuff gone.”

Firefighters worked for hours on the fire, which was complicated due to dry, hot and windy conditions. They also had to bring in water trucks because the remote farm did not have a fire hydrant nearby.

There were about 40 units from 5 fire departments on the scene and crews expected to be there most of the night.