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Investigators unable to confirm cause of house fire E. of Bend


Bend Fire Department Investigators said Wednesday they have been unable to confirm the cause of a fire that destroyed a home east of town on Billadeau Road last Friday, only that it started in the living room..

Battalion Chief Dave Howe also reduced the loss estimate to $375,000 to the structure and $200,00 to the contents.

“The exact cause of the fire remains undetermined,” Howe said.

However, he added, that “does not mean the investigator does not know what caused the fire,” only that “the facts cannot be proven to an acceptable degree of certainty.”

The fire sent up a tall, black smoke plume visible for miles, but caused no injuries, authorities said.

Howe said the fire in the 60000 block of Billadeau Road was called in just before 9 a.m., and the first crews on scene reported the structure was fully involved in flames and heavy smoke.

There were concerns someone might be inside, but a quick search found that not to be the case. Howe said the homeowners were out of town camping at the time, and were notified and arrived on scene later in the morning.

Along with several Bend Fire and Rescue units, U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Department of Forestry crews were called in to patrol for possible embers in the brush, but the fire did not spread to the surrounding area. Relatively calm winds and cool temperatures helped ease that risk.

Firefighters moved to a defensive attack around 9:30 a.m. and it was reported to have been significantly knocked down about 10 minutes later, but the remains of the destroyed home was still very hot and putting up smoke some time later; investigators were waiting for it to cool to look for the cause.

An American Red Cross disaster response team responded to assist the three affected adults with meeting immediate basic needs, such as temporary housing, food, clothing or information about recovery services.

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