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  Unfortunately the family cat died in the fire   The residence sustained heavy smoke and fire damage.  

Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on Sunday May 9, 2021 - 1:11 AM
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DALLAS, Oregon - Just before 10 am Saturday morning, neighbors to 288 SW Applegate Trail saw smoke, heard the smoke alarms sounding from inside the house and called 911. Dallas Fire & EMS responded and on arrival immediately requested a 2nd alarm as there was a large column of smoke coming from the house. A call for a 2nd alarm adds more resources that are not initially dispatched to assist.

There was conflicting information on whether the resident was home or not. Firefighters quickly made entry, began searching for the resident and recieved information she was not home during their search.

Firefighters then immediately began putting out the fire and within minutes had it knocked down. Unfortunately the family cat was found deceased upon a secordary search of the residence. The cause of the fire was due to the stovetop accidently being left on. The residence sustained heavy smoke and fire damage.

Dallas Fire &EMS was assisted by Dallas Police, SW Polk Rural Fire Protection District, Polk County Fire District #1, and the Red Cross.

Unfortunately at this time there are no photos or other information of the unfortunate cat. Any information you may like to share email us at so we may update this story.

Townfolk say there is a large population of cats in Dallas and they are mostly left alone except to be fed by the friendly people of Dassas. The small, quaint town of Dallas was settled in the 1840s on the north side of Rickreall Creek and was originally named 'Cynthian' or 'Cynthiana'. A 1947 Itemizer-Observer article states: 'he town was called Cynthiana after Cynthiana, Ky., so named by Mrs. Thos. Lovelady.' The History of Polk County Oregon, 1987, Page 12, states: 'To Mrs. Thomas J. Lovelady was given the honor of naming the new settlement and she selected the name after her home town of Cynthiana, Kentucky.' Another source claims that the origin of the name may have been Jesse Applegate's wife, Cynthia Ann. However, she lived in the Salt Creek area of northern Polk County and, according to the 1850 Federal Census, had already left Polk County by 1850.

Dallas post office was established in 1852.

In 1856, the town was moved more than a mile south because of an inadequate supply of water.

Dallas was in competition with Independence to be the county seat and the citizens of Dallas raised $17,000 in order to have a branch of the narrow gauge railroad come to their town, thus securing the honor. The line was built from 1878–80. A more suitable name for a county seat was needed, and since George Mifflin Dallas was vice-president under James K. Polk, for whom the county was named, 'Dallas' was a natural choice. Dallas was incorporated as a town in 1874 and as a city in 1901.

Gerlinger family Louis Gerlinger, Sr. incorporated the Salem, Falls City and Western Railway Company late in October 1901 and announced plans to build a railroad from the Willamette River at Salem to the mouth of the Siletz River on the Oregon Coast, a distance of 65 miles .

In 1902, Louis's son George T. Gerlinger organized a group of investors to build railroad lines in the area.

On May 29, 1903, the first train ran from Dallas to Falls City. At the end of June, passenger trains began regularly scheduled trips to and from Dallas and Falls City each day; the 9-mile , 40-minute, one-way trip cost 35 cents.

Willamette Industries was founded in Dallas in 1906. At that time the company name was Willamette Valley Lumber Company. Louis Gerlinger, Sr. was president of the new company and H. L. Pittock, vice president. George T. Gerlinger served as secretary and manager while F. W. Leadbetter was treasurer. George Cone served as director and mill superintendent. In 1967, Willamette Valley Lumber and several others merged to become Willamette Industries.

In March 2002, Willamette Industries was officially acquired by Weyerhaeuser Company in a hostile takeover. In early 2009, Weyerhaeuser's Mill formally closed down its Dallas operation. Also Gerlinger Carrier Company in Dallas, Oregon that was taken over by Towmotor.

Dallas has a total area of 4.81 square miles , all of it land.

Dallas has a mediterranean climate with warm to very warm, dry summers with cool mornings, and cold, rainy winters. Occasionally frigid weather will reach the Willamette Valley due to very cold continental air from Canada being driven over the Cascades by a low-pressure system to the south, as occurred repeatedly in January 1950 when temperatures reached as low as -11 °F or -23.9 °C on the 31st and 68.0 inches of snow fell. However, snowfall is generally very rare, with an annual mean of 4.9 inches or 0.12 metres and a median of zero.

Rainfall is generally heavy during the winter months, averaging over 6.50 inches from November to February, when rain falls on around seventeen days in an average month, and on all but one day in November 1983. The wettest month has however been December 1996 with 21.93 inches and the wettest "rain year" from July 1973 to June 1974 with 80.01 inches . As with most of Oregon, the driest "rain year" was from July 1976 to June 1977 and saw only 23.78 inches .

Spring arrives slowly with pleasant afternoon temperatures and less heavy rainfall by April, although showers are common until into June. High summer in July and August is very warm in the afternoon and generally dry, with no rain falling for 79 days between June 23 and September 9 of 1967, which saw the hottest month on record in August 1967 where the mean maximum was 92.1 °F . Low humidity and pleasant mornings make this season comfortable, although airflows from the hot continent can bring spells of sweltering and arid weather, with 106 °F or 41.1 °C reached on July 19 of 1956 and on August 8 of 1981. On average, eighteen afternoons will top 90 °F or 32.2 °C but only two can expect to reach 100 °F or 37.8 °C, while 62 mornings fall below freezing, but only two spells in January-February 1950 and December 1972 have ever seen temperatures as low as 0 °F or -17.8 °C.