Homeowner thought he had put fire out with a hose - but it wasn't out
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A homeowner north of Bend thought he’d put out a chimney fire with a garden hose Saturday evening -- but it wasn’t fully out, and a resulting attic fire Sunday morning caused about $20,000 damage, an official said.
Bend Fire & Rescue was dispatched at 9:30 a.m. to a possible structure fire at a home in the 20200 block of Mountain View Drive, Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said.
The caller reported they had a chimney fire Saturday evening, and now were seeing smoke in the attic, she said.
The first crews to arrive found flames in the attic space and around the chimney, Kettering said. They were able to quickly put out the blaze, but extensive overhaul was needed to ensure the fire was completely out.
Damage to the home was estimated at $20,000, but no contents were lost, thanks to fire crews’ efforts to protect the living room contents before removing the drywall, the fire official said.
An investigation found numerous cracks in the masonry on the front side of the chimney, which Kettering said allowed heat to penetrate through to wall studs and the wood fireplace surround.
The homeowner said he’d had a chimney fire Saturday evening, but used a garden hose and thought it was completely out. Kettering said he also had removed his smoke alarms throughout the home Saturday night, as they kept sounding.
"Bend Fire & Rescue would like to remind the community that smoke alarms should never be disabled," Kettering wrote in a news release. "They provide an essential early warning and give you time to escape in the event of a fire."
"In addition, Bend Fire & Rescue asks that if you have a fire, any size fire, please call 911," she added.
"As happened in this case, you may think a fire is completely out, but it could be smoldering undetected for an extended period of time and become a much larger and more serious fire.
"The fire department has the tools and expertise to ensure the fire is completely out and you and your family are safe. For more fire safety information, visit www.bendoregon.gov/fire."