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Tumalo Road motor home fire spreads, destroys garage, outbuildings

(Update: Adding video and eyewitness quotes. Cause determined to be motor home refrigerator)

It's the second garage fire in that block of Tumalo Road this week

TUMALO, Ore. (KTVZ) – A motor home caught fire and sparked a blaze that spread to one-car detached garage and several small outbuildings along Tumalo Road west of Highway 97 Thursday afternoon, officials said.

It was the second fire on that stretch of road in three days.

Bend and Redmond fire department crews were dispatched shortly before 2 p.m. to the reported structure fire in the 21000 block of Tumalo Road, near the corner of 78th Street, Bend Fire Battalion Chief Trish Connolly said.

Crews arrived to find the small garage fully involved, with several outbuildings also ablaze and the flames threatening two homes, Connolly said.

Ray Reynolds, who lives across the street, told NewsChannel 21 that he noticed the fire right away.

"(I) came home and just the RV was on fire, and then all the propane tanks started going and there was about eight or nine pops or explosions -- not too big, but you could definitely hear it," Reynolds said.

No injuries were reported, but a firefighter did have to rescue a disabled woman from a nearby motorhome.

Crews made a quick, aggressive attack on the main body of the fire and also assisted an elderly person with mobility issues leave one of the threatened homes, the official said.

Due to the fast attack, crews kept the fire from reaching the homes.

Investigators determined the fire began in a motor home parked near the garage. Connolly said the motor home's occupant switched the refrigerator from electric to propane, which quickly caught the motor home on fire, and that spread to the garage and outbuildings.

The motor home was destroyed as well, she said.

Crews were on scene for some time to finish extinguishing the blaze and put out nearby hot spots. Due to the hot, windy conditions, U.S. Forest Service crews patrolled for any other small fire starts in the area.

Mutual-aid crews from Cloverdale were called in to assist the Redmond and Bend crews, Connolly said.

Tumalo Road was closed due to firefighting operations until about 3:30 p.m.

It was the second structure fire in that stretch of Tumalo Road in three days. A detached two-car garage was destroyed by a fire Tuesday afternoon. Crews from several agencies were able to keep the flames from spreading a nearby home and vehicles.

Connolly said Thursday the damage was too extensive to determine a cause for that fire.

Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said Thursday's fire was 10 houses east of Tuesday's blaze and that they both involved detached garages was "one big coincidence."

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Barney Lerten

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

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Jordan Williams

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



  1. Yeah. I live right between the two fires that happened out here. All the neighbors know the real story. The people right behind that place told us.

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