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Madras family narrowly escapes house fire, thanks to alarm

Madras house fire Rhea Panela
Rhea Panela
A Madras family climbed out a bedroom window when house fire erupted, blocking front and back doors

Fire in kitchen blocked front, back doors; damage at $50,000

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Awakened by a smoke alarm, a Madras family of four narrowly escaped out a back bedroom window early Wednesday morning when a malfunctioning water heater sparked a house fire that blocked both the front and back doors, an official said.

Jefferson County Fire District No. 1 crews responded around 6:30 a.m. to the reported house fire in the 600 block of Northeast Lakeside Drive, Deputy Chief Kasey Skaar said.

A smoke alarm went off in the hallway, waking up and alerting the family to the blaze, he said.

The fire apparently was caused by a malfunction of the water heater, located in a kitchen closet. The fire in the kitchen prevented the father, mother and two children from being able to get out the front or back doors, Skaar said.

The first fire crew to arrive made sure everyone was out safely and attacked the fire from the front door. The next crew established a water supply and provided backup, Skaar said. The fire was quickly knocked down, and crews moved on to ventilation, salvage and overhaul. 

Losses to the home and contents totaled about $50,000, the fire official said. The family declined American Red Cross disaster assistance, Skaar added.

The deputy fire chief offered thanks to Deschutes Valley Water, which was on scene, along with Madras police, Jefferson County sheriff's deputies and Jefferson County EMS.

Skaar said residents should make sure to have working smoke alarms in the home, including one in every bedroom. Also, he said, make sure to have at least two ways out of your home and establish a meeting place for your family.

Central Oregon / Madras / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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