(Update: Adding video, Bend Fire info; neighbor comment)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A fire of undetermined origin late Tuesday night destroyed a southwest Bend home where authorities said a hatchet-wielding resident now charged with three counts of murder allegedly killed two men, weeks after a fatal Christmas day assault at the home.
Firefighters were dispatched around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday to reports of a fire at a manufactured home in the 60000 block of Granite Drive, in the Romaine Village subdivision.
Bend Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said the first crews to arrive found flames throughout most of the home. Crews quickly put it out, keeping the fire from spreading to neighboring homes and trees.
"An occupant of the property was out of the house and safe," Derlacki said Wednesday.
"The fire was first reported in the main living area of the home by a property occupant that was sleeping in their car nearby," the fire official added. "Red Cross assisted the occupant with a place to stay after the fire."
Derlacki said the home is a complete loss and the fire caused about $15,000 in total damages.
Investigators with Oregon State Police and the State Fire Marshal's Office assisted Bend fire investigators Wednesday morning.
"After a thorough investigation, a direct cause was not determined," Derlacki said, adding that the home had been released back to the property owner.
Randall Kilby, jailed without bail on three murder charges, lived at the home with his mother and with two brothers-in-law, Jeffrey and Benjamin Taylor.
Authorities said Kilby told police on Christmas Day that Daphne Banks had fallen and hit her head, but the evidence did not back that. He was arrested on an assault charge that day, but the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, still gathering evidence, did not file charges and he was released. Days later, Banks was taken off life support at St. Charles Bend.
DA John Hummel said later that statements Kilby made when he was arrested in the double-killing provided the needed evidence to bring the murder charge in that case. Kilby's plea entry in both cases is scheduled for May 27.
Hummel said Kilby's mother mouthed the word "help" to a neighbor when out for a walk with her son the day after the killings. Another neighbor said she walked up to her house and said someone was murdered in her home and her son was involved. Kilby's mother let police inside, where the men's bodies were found.
Jeff Tallackson, who has lived in the area for 15 years, says he considered Jeffrey Taylor a friend, telling NewsChannel 21 that they had shared drinks occasionally.
“Jeff was the nicest guy," Tallackson said. "He was a very nice man. He was a nice guy. He’d give the shirt off his back to anyone.”