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DCSO: Alfalfa man called 911 to report he set own house ablaze, then blocked driveway to keep firefighters away

Alfalfa house fire Alfalfa Fire District 3-20
Alfalfa Fire District
Authorities say Alfalfa homeowner set house ablaze, called 911, barricaded driveway on Tuesday evening
Arson fire Alfalfa Market Road DCSO 3-19
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office
Fire allegedly set by homeowner destroyed home in Alfalfa Tuesday evening.

(Update: Suspect charged, arraigned, adding name; Alfalfa Fire District info, photo)

ALFALFA, Ore. (KTVZ) – An Alfalfa man called Deschutes County 911 Tuesday evening to report he’d set his own house on fire, and first responders soon found he’d also blocked his own driveway to keep them from putting it out, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said. He was arrested on arson and other charges.

Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies responded around 5:30 p.m. to the reported fire in the 25800 block of Alfalfa Market Road east of Bend, Sgt. Chris Barringer said.

The home is located at the end of a long driveway, with fencing on either side, limiting maneuverability for responding emergency vehicles. Barringer said deputies soon learned an overturned pickup on its side was blocking access to the home.

The 45-year-old homeowner, David Ezekiel Sheridan, was seen driving a skidsteer on the property and parked it next to the overturned pickup, further limiting access, the sergeant said. Sheridan then climbed atop the skidsteer and waved to deputies while they tried contacting him with P.A. announcements.

By that time, the home was fully engulfed, and Sheridan refused to approach deputies, Barringer said. Alfalfa Fire District crews were on scene but couldn’t reach the property due to the blocked driveway, Barringer said.

The growing danger of the fire spreading to neighboring properties prompted a decision to contact and detain the homeowner. Deputies also had been unable to confirm if there was anyone else on the property that needed help, the sergeant said.

Sheridan surrendered to deputies after he was approached. Barringer said an investigation confirmed he set the fire and purposely blocked the driveway to keep firefighters from putting out the blaze.

No one else was found to be on the property and there were no injuries, the sergeant said.

Alfalfa Fire Chief Chad Lavalee said crews began a defensive operation once they could make access, as well as suppression efforts to contain the fire, which had begun to spread to adjoining properties.

Sheridan was taken to the county jail in Bend and booked on charges of first-degree arson, reckless burning, first-degree criminal mischief and obstructing governmental or judicial administration. He was arraigned Wednesday on the two felony and two misdemeanor charges, court records showed.

The sheriff’s office thanked Alfalfa Fire for the response and assistance.

The Alfalfa Fire District, in turn, thanked the sheriff's office for its quick response and efforts to provide access for firefighters.

"Without their efforts, suppression of this fire would have taken much longer and could have been much larger, due to conditions and spread," Lavalee said in a news release.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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