A smoke alarm made a crucial, perhaps life-saving difference as two residents escaped from a fierce fire Saturday night that tore through their manufactured home south of Sunriver, also burning nearly an acre of surrounding brush and trees, authorities said.
The occupants of the 1,500-square-foot manufactured home at 16820 Covina Road were alerted by the smoke detector to the fire, which apparently began in the garage, and fled unharmed, calling Deschutes County 911 just before 9:30 p.m., said La Pine Rural Fire District Chief Mike Supkis.
The location is in Deschutes River Recreation Homesites, a rural subdivision south of Spring River Road and Sunriver and north of La Pine.
The residents were helped by neighbors in trying to put out the flames with a garden hose. But nearly a dozen firefighters and several sheriff’s deputies arrived to find the home was fully involved, Supkis said.
La Pine fire crews were on the scene for about 3 ½ hours, helped by an Oregon Department of Forestry engine crew in containing the resulting wildfire.
The homeowners and fire crews have yet to find two pet cats, Supkis said early Sunday, adding that the cause of the fire was under investigation.
The displaced family was assisted by the Red Cross and stayed at a neighbor’s home for the night.
The American Red Cross-Cascades Region responded to help with lodging, food, comfort kits, clothing and disaster health services, officials said.
The La Pine Fire District does not estimate losses from fires, but county property tax records show the 21-year-old home was valued at $85,000.
Firefighters were back on the scene Sunday for mop-up and to make sure the fire was out.
Supkis said the fire district responded to 29 calls Friday and Saturday, always a busy Fourth of July weekend for firefighters.