Groceries, toaster spark La Pine-area house fire

Woman returns from errand to find smoke, flames

La PINE, Ore. - A resident north of La Pine returned home from a brief errand Wednesday afternoon to find her home filled with smoke from a kitchen fire. Officials said later it began when a bag of groceries accidentally pushed up against and turned on a toaster.

Sharon Robinson of 52707 Meadow Lane called 911 shortly before 4 p.m. to her home at 52707 Meadow Lane, said Fire Chief Mile Supkis of the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District.

Firefighters arrived in about six minutes and found the single-story home full of smoke and a "significant fire burning in the kitchen," Supkis said.

Fire crews from La Pine, Sunriver and the Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the call, as did Deschutes County sheriff's deputies, the chief said.

Firefighters were able to quickly douse the blaze and contain most of the fire damage to the kitchen area, though there was smoke and heat damage throughout the home, Supkis said.

Investigators found the fire began at a toaster on the kitchen counter. Supkis said Robinson previously returned from grocery shopping about a half-hour earlier, unloading bags of groceries on the counter before leaving on another errand.

"A bag of groceries apparently pressed up against the toaster, turning it on and eventually igniting the groceries and other kitchen items next to it," Supkis wrote.

Meadow Lane was closed for about an hour during the incident, Supkis said. Robinson's home is insured, he said, but insurance adjusters were working on a loss amount.

Supkis said the resident is staying with friends and has support from her church. She declined Red Cross assistance.

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