Thankful Bend family escapes burning home

Crews stopped blaze on exterior wall

Family safe after house fire burns...

BEND, Ore. - (Update: Adds comments from homeowner)

A fire broke out early Sunday morning between two northwest Bend homes, fueled by a damaged natural gas meter, but firefighters were able to knock it down quickly and prevented major damage to either structure, officials said.

Bend Fire & Rescue responded just before 4 a.m. to the reported fire in the 200 block of Northwest Outlook Vista Drive, said Fire Inspector Steve Stenkamp.

The arriving crews found a fire between two houses, fueled by a damaged natural gas meter, Stenkamp said.

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire and isolate a shutoff valve for the meter, stopping the flow of natural gas, he said.

Kristin Shaw said her family awakened to sirens and first responders knocking and urging them to evacuate their home.

Shaw said she and her family stood outside their home and watched crews work to save it. She said her son was having a sleepover when one of the kids was alerted to the sirens outside

"Where are my children? That was my first thought, where are my children, and are they okay?" Shaw recalled later. "And then, what do I take to get out of the house?"

"I was overwhelmed with a sense of community," Shaw added. "The police were here, the fire department was here. Everybody was just incredibly helpful and kind. And they saved our lives, because they took the time to bang on the doors and get us out."

Damage was estimated at $10,000 and limited to the exterior siding of one house and a fence on the adjacent structure, Stenkamp said.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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