A failed power cord on an appliance in a carport apparently caused a fire early Saturday that destroyed a northeast Bend home, displacing a family of four, officials said.
The fire was reported around 12:30 a.m. at a home at 951 NE 11th Street, at the corner with Greenwood Avenue (Highway 20) just near Pilot Butte, said Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki. The three-bedroom home, built in 1956, was owned by Linda Olson, according to fire officials and property tax records.
The initial calls reported the home was fully ablaze, with flames spreading into the trees, Derlacki said. Crews arrived to find ¾ of the house on fire and all occupants had fled unhurt, he said.
“We were able to stop the forward progress of the fire,” Derlacki said in a news release, but “we had a difficult time overhauling (clearing) the structure, due to the fact the house had numerous additions and void spaces.”
“Smoke detectors initially didn’t alert the occupants of smoke in the building – the just heard crackling and popping sounds,” the fire official said, adding that they quickly fled and made sure everyone was accounted for.
Later Saturday morning, fire investigators determined an electrical failure in a power cord for an appliance in the carport area was the most likely cause of the fire. Derlacki said that failure then ignited nearby combustibles, spreading to the rest of the carport and the home.
Losses were estimated at $110,000 to the home and $50,000 worth of contents, as well as a vehicle worth $5,000. The home was insured, officials said.
Nearly 20 firefighters and four engine companies responded to the scene, with Sunriver firefighters called in on mutual aid to help cover the district.
The Red Cross said volunteers responded to the blaze that displaced three adults, a child and two dogs. They provided lodging, flood, clothing, comfort kits and information about other support services.
Portions of Hwy. 20 and nearby side streets were closed during the firefighting and mop-up work.
Nearby resident Michelle Scott, who arrived before fire crews and took video of the fierce blaze, said she heard a loud popping noise but "didn't think anything of it until the sirens were so loud."
"I looked out the back door and the flames were so bright, I thought the church next to us was on fire," Scott said, adding that they evacuated their home in case they needed to.
"Once we got into the street, we realized it was across Greenwood," she said.
"Once we got close enough, whatever was on the back part of the house kept making a popping sound, and the power lines were zapping," Scott added.