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Bend FD: Creosote likely house fire cause


Bend fire investigators said Thursday ignition of creosoted in a chimney flue likely sparked an attic fire that caused $11,000 damage Wednesday to a manufactured home in Romaine Village.

Firefighters responded shortly before 11 a.m. Wednesday to a report of smoke coming from the manufactured home at 60968 Ridge Drive, said Battalion Chief Karl Findling.

They arrived to find smoke coming from the eaves as fire burned in the attic space, being pushed by westerly winds, Findling said. Crews knocked down the bulk of the fire from outside, until more crews arrived, then went in to finish putting it out by removing much of the roof in that part of the home.

Damage was mostly limited to the attic truss system and the area surrounding the woodstove, the fire official said.

On Thursday, deputy Fire Marshal Susie Lovisco said an investigation found the most probably cause of the fire was ignition of creosote in a chimney flue that in turn ignited combustibles near the attic space.

Lovisco noted the resident started a fire in the fireplace, noticed smoke and fire coming from the chimney flue in the home and tried to put it out using tap water.

The home was equipped with one smoke alarm, in the living room, and there were no reported injuries, she said. Losses were estimated at $9,000 to the home and $2,000 to the contents.

The Red Cross was called in to assist the residents.

Lovisco reminded homeowners that clean chimneys usually don’t catch fire. She urged you to have a certified chimney sweep inspect your solid-fuel venting system each year, or more often, depending on the frequently of use.

She also said residents need to install a carbon monoxide alarm following manufacturer instructions and contact the Bend Fire Department for free installation of smoke alarms and batteries.

Lastly, Lovisco said, if a fire breaks out in your home, evacuate and call 911 – don’t try to douse the flames yourself.

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