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Man died in accidental camper fire, officials say


A fire that destroyed a pickup camper and killed a 54-year-old man east of Bend early Saturday morning was accidental in nature, but the exact cause could not be determined, officials said Monday.

Bend firefighters and Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies found Bruce Hammer’s body in the camper destroyed by fire off Alfalfa Market Road east of town.

Detectives investigated the scene, at 23370 Alfalfa Market Road, assisted by Oregon State Police and the Bend Fire Department.

“Very little of the camper remained,” Bend Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said Monday after the investigation was completed.

However, she added that authorities did determine “the fire was accidental and did originate inside the camper.”

Sheriff’s Lt. Tim Leak said the homeowners at the property called in the fire to 911 dispatchers around 4:15 a.m. Arriving firefighters and deputies found the pickup camper behind a shop fully engulfed in flames, Leak said, noting that the camper was not attached to a vehicle at the time of the blaze.

The fire was put out a short time later, and Hammer’s body was discovered inside the camper during the investigation into the cause of the blaze, he said.

The camper was a total loss, and there was minor damage to the exterior of the shop building where the camper was located.

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