BEND, Ore. - Firefighters who kept a carport fire from spreading into a northwest Bend home Tuesday evening said later it was traced to a failed, pinched extension cord used to recharge electric bikes.
Firefighters were called around 7:15 p.m. to the reported house fire at a duplex at 1632 NW Sixth Street, off Portland Avenue, said Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki. A neighbor said the fire was in the carport area.
Crews arrived to find the fire burning in the carport and spreading to the two-story duplex, Derlacki said. They quickly knocked down the flames and confirmed no one was home.
The fire was confined to the carport contents, including skis, a snowboard, tools and an electric bike. The home's stucco siding kept the fire from spreading to the interior, Derlacki added.
Losses were estimated at $5,000 to the structure and $15,000 to contents.
Derlacki said the fire was caused by electrical failure in an extension cord used in the carport to recharge the electric bikes. The cord was behind items placed against the wall of the home, but got pinched behind those items, causing it to fail.
Derlacki reminded residents to be careful with extension cords, which he said should be used for temporary wiring only, following the manufacturers' and fire code limitations.
"When cords get placed behind items such as shelves couches, toolboxes and other similar items, they can get pinched or cut," he wrote in a news release. "Any damage to these cords can lead to the cord heating up and either cause shorting or ignite nearby combustibles."
The fire official urged to consult the manufacturer's warnings on use of extension cords, or contact your fire department for a free home consultation on safe ways to use them.