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La Pine family escapes house fire, thanks to smoke alarm


A La Pine family of three awoke to a smoke detector and escaped a fire that heavily damaged their home late Wednesday night, officials said.

La Pine Rural Fire Protection District crews responded around 11:30 p.m. to the reported fire at 51924 Dorrance Meadow Road, said Fire Chief Mike Supkis. Two engines, a water tender, three command and support vehicles and a dozen firefighters were called out, along with Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies and seven members of the fire district’s support services.

They arrived to find the single-story home partially ablaze, with heavy heat and smoke throughout, Supkis said.

Homeowners Alicia Dey and Jeremy Vandyke and an 8-year-old child awoke to the sound of the smoke detector.

Vandyke had been resting in a chair and awoke to find fire in the living room area, quickly spreading up the wall, the fire chief said. He tried but was unable to put out the fire and evacuated with the rest of the family.

Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control within about two minutes, then spent two hours on salvage and overhaul, Supkis said. The entire structure sustained heavy heat and smoke damage, with the living room and contents significantly damaged.

A preliminary investigation found the fire began in the living room and an electrical plug strip was a “potential ignition source,” Supkis said in a news release.

With the home, which was reported insured, now uninhabitable, Supkis said neighbors helped with overnight shelter and the family was referred to the American Red Cross for more disaster assistance and recovery support.

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