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Prineville man who helps others left without home after fire

Saved his 3 dogs, but bedroom blaze left home unsuitable to live in

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A fire heavily damaged part of Henry Freeman's southwest Prineville home Wednesday morning, leaving the man who helps those less fortunate without his own place to live, at least for now.

The fire only destroyed one bedroom, but the house was deemed not suitable to live in, so Henry has been living in motels while he finds a permanent living situation.

He recalled Friday that he was in the middle of making lunch when he noticed the smoke.

"The smoke detector came on. I turn around and saw that whole thing was on fire," Freeman said.

When he realized how serious the fire was, Freeman's first priority was rescuing his three dogs. He even lost one of his eyebrows from the flames while saving them.

"I was more interested in my dogs than me," Freeman said. “So I charge in there, right into the fire.”

Crook County Fire & Rescue crews were able to keep the fire from extending beyond the bedroom and its contents. American Red Cross disaster responders were called in to help Freeman.

Since his wife died, Freeman has been helping less fortunate people in Prineville.

"Oh yes, I help a lot of people -- especially during the wintertime," he said. "These young kids don't know how to survive. I do."  

Prineville police said they believe the fire was started by a young woman Freeman had been letting stay in his home.

Central Oregon / Prineville / Top Stories

Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



  1. So there ya go- I chimed in a day or so complaining that Z21 plasters the names and photos of every accused villain in Central Oregon- but can’t seem to put a name or face on a local fire victim- who just lost everything. I was told by the original reporter on this story that (more or less) fire victims don’t sell as many headlines as kiddie porn sickos ! We now find out the back story to this poor old sod and his hounds as one of the stations “real reporters” set out to get the details. So why the change of heart down at the Z ? Is this an attempt to mend their evil ways of reporting hearsay (Covington kids start riot), rumors (Brett Kavanaugh raped women in college), blatant lies (the FISA warrants were properly vetted and verified) ???

    Is the Z finally going to admit their failures and turn over a new leaf for 2020… only time will tell !

    1. You are wrong on every level, including your screen name, because clearly I didn’t get my wish – you’re still here. We have told many stories over the years of victims of fire and other tragedies, when they are willing to speak with us. Most rational fair-minded folks have a sense of that. We don’t force folks to be on camera in the wake of tragedy, but often, when they are, the stories are very much worth telling. But in day to day spot news, victims are rarely identified unless they are killed/seriously injured or face some sort of charge. THAT’s fair journalism.

      1. Nope- not wrong at all. In addition to what I originally wrote- we need to add that many of the political stories coming out of CNN now offer no opportunity to comment on- and it now appears that certain stories have a one-two day time limit for posting comments. I’ve seen no headline story at KTVZ about the DOJ’s shocking revelation that half of the FISA warrants have been ruled invalid- yet you continue to flood the site with anti-President stories. Most rational and fair minded people know propaganda when they see it.

        1. I don’t flood the site with anything. Every media outlet in the country or likely this planet gets an automated feed of their particular wire stories – AP, CNN, etc. You continue to unfairly and inaccurately personalize this to me or the station where I work, when anyone who travels anywhere on the web knows what I say is true. And again, the comments turned off on some CNN stories, political AND otherwise, is a TECHNICAL ISSUE. You feel free to falsely ascribe political motives.Fair-minded people hopefully show me the trust you lack. Any specific story, give me the URL – the comments will get turned on, until and unless CNN updates it, when they well could turn off again – until someone points it out to me. It’s an unfortunate issue as we grapple with the issues in our wire feeds with the new platform, which go well beyond comment checkboxes.

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