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Fire damages south county log home after combustibles moved near gas fireplace

Fire Tuesday evening damaged log home between La Pine and Sunriver
La Pine Rural Fire District
Fire Tuesday evening damaged log home between La Pine and Sunriver

Furniture had been taken off carpet so it could be cleaned

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A fire that damaged a log home north of La Pine Tuesday evening apparently was sparked by furniture and other combustible items that were moved next to a gas fireplace for a carpet cleaning, fire officials said.

It was the second significant fire of the day for La Pine Rural Fire Protection District firefighters, who also put out a brush fire from a rekindled burn pile, Fire Chief Mike Supkis said.

More than a dozen firefighters responded around 6 p.m. to the reported structure fire in the 17100 block of Blue Heron Drive, Supkis said. The first crew to arrive found smoke and flames coming from the  great room of the unoccupied, two-story home. They were able to quickly ventilate the home and put out the blaze within minutes.

The fire was contained to the area around the fireplace, but there was significant smoke and heat damage throughout the home, Supkis said.

The homeowners, who were out of town, noticed on their home monitoring system that the temperature inside had risen to over 100 degrees, he said. They called nearby relatives, who drove to the home and saw smoke coming from it and heard the smoke alarms going, then called 911.

Supkis said an investigation found that the carpets were recently cleaned in the home, and furniture was moved off them for it. A table, TV and other combustibles were piled on the hearth next to the fireplace, which operates on a thermostat and was in the on opposition.

At some point, he said, the combustibles ignited from the fireplace “and burned for a considerable time,” Supkis said in a news release.

The fire chief reminded residents that all combustibles should be kept at least three feet from any wood stove or fireplace.

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