Powell Butte

Powell Butte house fire's cause undetermined

Officials suspect smoke alarm wasn't working

POWELL BUTTE, Ore. - A Powell Butte couple whose mobile home erupted in fire early Wednesday escaped through a bedroom window but suffered serious burns officials said Thursday, adding that they have been unable to determine the cause of the blaze.

Crook County Fire & Rescue responded to the blaze shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday at 7700 SW Stillman Road, said Fire Marshal Casey Kump. They arrived to find the single-wide mobile home (with addition) fully ablaze.

The couple renting the home fled through the bedroom window and were taken to St. Charles Medical Center-Redmond, Kump said. They did not have renters insurance and are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross.

"The cause will remain undetermined," Kump said, as "several points of interest were unable to be proven, due to the degree of destruction incurred."

The couple, who fire authorities did not identify due to privacy regulations, reported going to bed around 10:30 p.m. The man said he was awakened by the smell of smoke, opened the bedroom door to the living room and was overwhelmed by the smoke and heat.

Around that time, Kump said, a neighbor heard crackling noises, saw the fire and called 911.

Kump said he was unaware if the home had working smoke alarms, but they likely "would have given advance notice and prevented injuries."

Losses are estimated at $40,000, the fire marshal said.

The fire marshal noted that next week is Fire Prevention Week, and two things children are taught in the "Firebusters" program are "know two ways out," and sleeping with bedroom doors closed (which limits ventilation that can cause fires to grow). "It protects rooms and buys time," Kump said.

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