Fire rips through La Pine duplex; cat perishes

No other injuries; fire began at or near stove

La PINE, Ore. - A fire heavily damaged a La Pine duplex Saturday afternoon while its owners were away, and while neighbors let the dogs out, a cat was found upstairs later and could not be revived, officials said.

La Pine Rural Fire District crews responded just after 3 p.m. to the report of smoke coming a duplex unit in the 16400 block of Heath Drive, said fire Capt. Gary Young.

Crews arrived six minutes after the call to find a 2,800-square-foot wood-frame duplex with heavy smoke coming from the door and eaves of one unit, Young said.

Neighbors reported the owners weren’t home and they had opened the front door and let the dogs out, but a cat reportedly was still inside.

The first crews to arrive found the first floor was fully involved in the fire. Once it was put out, a primary and secondary search of both floors found the cat in an upstairs bedroom, the fire captain said.

Firefighters used CPR and oxygen in an attempt to revive the cat but were unsuccessful, Young said. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries.

A total of 13 fire personnel were called to the scene, ruling out any further extension of the fire and completing their overhaul work.

The unit’s first floor was a total loss and the second story sustained heavy smoke and heat damage, Young said.

An initial investigation found the fire began on the first floor, at or near the kitchen stove, with the investigation continuing.

Fire Chief Mike Supkis said Monday further investigation has put the area of origin at the kitchen stove/countertop. There's also a toaster oven right next to the stove, and electrical breakers to the stove were tripped by the fire. The exact ignition point has not yet been determined, he added.

La Pine Fire was assisted by the Sunriver Fire Department and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Disaster responders with the American Red Cross Cascades Region were called out to assist the four adults and pets affected by the fire. They provided resources to help address their immediate basic needs such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits, information about recovery services and disaster mental health services.

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