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Fire in bark mulch damages NE Bend Taco Bell


A fire that caused about $15,000 damage to the Taco Bell on Bend’s Northeast Third Street late Sunday night began in the bark mulch next to the building, where it was spotted by a customer, officials said.

Fire crews responded at 11:10 p.m. to the report of smoke coming from the roof of the fast-food restaurant at 1104 Northeast Third Street, said Fire Inspector Steve Stenkamp.

The smoke was reported by a customer and quickly reported to 911 by an employee, Stenkamp said.

The building was evacuated as Bend firefighters brought in a ladder truck and tackled smoke coming from the roof and front façade, the fire official said. Crews had to cut into the side of the building with a chainsaw to find the source of the smoke.

“We did not see flames, just smoke until we accessed that wall,” Battalion Chief Dave Russell told NewsChannel 21 at the scene. “And then we found the flames in the void space of that facade.’

Crews quickly extinguished the fire, though they were on scene for two hours for overhaul.

Stenkamp said the fire began in the bark mulch at the base of the front entry. The specific cause of the fire was under investigation.

Nearly 20 firefighters were called to the scene, including four engines and a ladder truck.

Stenkamp said Bend Fire wants to remind building owners to keep a separated between bark landscaping products and the building.

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