La PINE, Ore. - La Pine firefighters worked in the cold and 2-3 feet of snow and ice, both on the ground and the roof, to stop a fire that heavily damaged a family’s home Friday morning, officials said.
La Pine Rural Fire Protection District crews responded around 9:15 a.m. to the reported fire in the 52000 block of Caribou Road, said Captain Fred Franklin. They arrived to find flames engulfing the northern half of an approximately 600-square-foot wood-frame house with a metal roof.
A crew of reserve student firefighters was the first to arrive and deployed a hose line to quickly stop the fire’s forward progress, Franklin said. More crews arrived and put a positive-pressure fan on the sound end’s main door, entering with a hose line to conduct a search of the unoccupied home, extinguish the fire and conduct overhaul.
Fire was found in the attic and crews worked from all sides of the building, Franklin said. Two water tenders shuttled several loads of water to the scene to help put out the blaze. Nine firefighters were on scene for about 3 ½ hours.
Franklin said the homeowner advised he and two teen sons reside in the home. He said he’d noticed around 6:30 a.m. that smoke was backing down the chimney and out of the woodstove as he tried to load it with firewood.
The homeowner said that indicated to him, based on past experience, that the chimney needed cleaning. He left the stove as is when he went to work, intending to address the problem when he returned home, the fire captain said.
Franklin said the exact cause was undetermined, but it was likely a flue fire.
The structure and contents sustained heavy smoke and fire damage throughout, with about half of the home destroyed, with a collapse of the roof over the living room and kitchen.
American Red Cross disaster responders were called in to help the family with its immediate basic needs such as food, clothing and temporary housing.