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La Pine pair suffer smoke inhalation in detached garage fire

La Pine Rural Fire District truck
KTVZ file

Were looking for source, trying to remove cars

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Two family members suffered smoke inhalation Tuesday evening when fire broke out in a La Pine detached garage and they tried to find the source and get two vehicles out, fire officials said.

La Pine Rural Fire Protection District crews responded around 7:30 p.m. to the reported fire in a detached garage about five feet from a home in the 52600 block of Rainbow Drive, Fire Chief Mike Supkis said.

The family was home at the time and noticed smoke coming from the garage, Supkis said. After a call to 911, two men tried to enter the garage to find the source of the fire and tried to salvage two parked vehicles.

"They were overcome by the quickly developing, dense smoke, and one became visibly sick," Supkis said in a news release, but both "were very fortunate to be able to retreat to safety."

A total of 14 firefighters were called to the scene, quickly knocking down the blaze, the fire chief said. They also evaluated the pair with smoke inhalation, who declined transport to the hospital.

The fire caused heavy smoke and some heat damage to the interior of the garage and the two vehicles, Supkis said.

Supkis said an electrical failure at a 240-volt receptacle box "is closely being looked at as the ignition point" due to a failure of a wire running through the unprotecte box opening. He said the electric box and wire were located behind a large storage shelf in which household items had been place.

Assistance was requested from the Sunriver and Crescent fire agencies for more medic units, which Supkis said were ultimately not needed.

"The La Pine Rural Fire Protection District wants to remind citizens to never renter a burning structure, as it can become deadly in seconds," Supkis wrote.

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Barney Lerten

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