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CO alarm awakens Redmond man to house fire


A southwest Redmond man awoke to the piercing sound of a carbon monoxide alarm early Saturday, found a fire in the living room and awakened his sleeping mother, allowing them to escape unharmed, officials said.

The fire at a single-story home in the 1400 block of Southwest Cascade Avenue, traced to aging wood stove and chimney components, was reported around 2:40 a.m. and caused about $35,000 damage to the home, said Redmond Fire Battalion Chief Jon Wood.

After waking up to the CO detector, the resident found a fire in their living room wall, where the woodstove pipe connected to the brick chimney. He quickly called 911 and alerted his sleeping mother, Wood said.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke pouring from the eaves and vents of the home. Wood said the fire had burned through an exterior wall and the attic space, but crews were able to quickly control it, then salvaged the property and overhauled the structure.

“Redmond Fire and Rescue would like to remind citizens the importance of working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes,” Wood wrote. “In this case, the early warning of the occupants by the detectors possibly saved lives and minimized damage to the home.”

A family member said the mother and son had several pets, including five cats, two goldfish and two chickens — all OK, except an orange kitten, Cheshire, that is missing.

Disaster responders with the local American Red Cross responded to the house fire, officials said. The organization provided resources to help address the immediate basic needs of those affected, such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services and health and mental health services.

The Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (the Cascades Region) helps an average of three families affected by disasters, like house fires, every day. The Red Cross advocates emergency preparedness and offers the installation of free smoke alarms in our community. Residents may call 503) 528-5783 for more information or complete an online form at

Later Saturday morning, around 9:45 a.m., Redmond Fire responded to a reported trailer fire off the end of Southwest 19th Street, south of the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and east of Juniper Golf Course. Crews arrived to find the 29-foot, 1980s-era trailer fully involved. Once again, the Red Cross was contacted to assist the two adult residents.

Redmond Fire Battalion Chief Dick Knorr said the cause of that fire, which occurred on BLM land, was under investigation

With cold weather at hand and more people heating their homes with various means, Bend Fire & Rescue had issued a warning Friday about the dangers of carbon monoxide:

“As bitterly cold weather arrives, the use of furnaces, fireplaces and woodstoves becomes more intense, creating potential sources of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is a true silent killer. It’s an invisible, odorless, colorless gas, and at high levels it can kill a person in minutes.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a natural product of any kind of fuel-burning, including natural gas, oil, diesel, propane, kerosene, wood, or charcoal burns. CO production increases radically when the combustion is incomplete.

If fuel-burning appliances are used incorrectly, improperly vented, not working properly, or not routinely maintained, dangerous or even fatal levels of CO can result.

In fact, each year in the United States 430 people die and another 20,000 are injured due to CO poisoning (

Sadly, the number of CO incidents per year in the United States has been on the increase over the past several years. Incidents are most common between the months of November and February.

What can you do to protect your family? Here are a few tips:

Install carbon monoxide alarms on each level of your home, and within 15 feet of sleeping areas. Carbon monoxide alarms measure levels of CO over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. Never ignore an alarm – the CO alarm in your home is telling you something that can save your life. Have a qualified professional check all fuel burning appliances, furnaces, venting, stovepipe and chimney systems at least once a year. Never use propane or kerosene heaters to help heat your home or use a charcoal grill, hibachi, or camping stove in your home or garage. Never keep a car running in a garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation may not provide enough fresh air to prevent a dangerous buildup of CO. Working Smoke Alarms, Carbon Monoxide Alarms, and Home Fire Escape Plans save lives.

Test your alarms and practice your Home Fire Escape Plan today!”

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