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Fire destroys vacant La Pine home, burns acre


(Update: Fire chief says fire destroyed home, burned about an acre)

A wind-fanned fire destroyed a vacant home in La Pine on Saturday and spread to about an acre of grass, trees and brush, prompting evacuation of two other homes and closure of Burgess Road, authorities said.

The fire was reported about 12:20 p.m. in the 166000 block of Burgess Road, near the intersection with Huntington Road.

La Pine Fire Chief Mike Supkis said 15-20 mph winds out of the southwest were blowing flames into the home when the first firefighters arrived on the scene.

The house, now owned by a Washington state woman whose father lived there, had been unoccupied for a couple of years, Supkis said, and grass and weeds had grown up around the home.

As a result, the fire “ripped through the house, took the trees” and also sent four spot fires across Burgess Road that U.S. Forest Service crews stopped, he said.

Nearly three-dozen firefighters and seven engines were called out, including crews from Sunriver, the Oregon Department of Forestry and Central Oregon Fire Services.

“We’re pretty sure the fire didn’t start in the house,” Supkis said, but the cause was under investigation.

The fire also burned up to, but did not damage the neighboring homes to the east and west, which were evacuated, he said.

Sheriff’s deputies blocked Burgess Road between Highway 97 and Huntington Road and urged people to avoid the area.

Shortly before 1 p.m,. deputies said on their Twitter feed that “firefighters report the fire has been knocked down and forward progress stopped.” Dispatchers said the road was still partially closed for mop-up work around 3:30 p.m.

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