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Bend Fire has busy Saturday morning, putting out 2-story bark mulch fire, 3-story house fire

Fagen's bark mulch pile fire Jeffrey Murray 722
Jeffrey Murray
Two-story pile of bark mulch and chips caught fire Saturday morning at SE Bend business
Fagen Tree Service bark mulch pile fire Bend FD 722
Bend Fire & Rescue
Bark mulch pile fire sent smoke billowing in SE Bend on Saturday
House fire NE Wells Acres Road Bend FD 722
Bend Fire & Rescue
Fire that began by steps on exterior deck spread up wall of three-story home on Saturday

Home on Wells Acres had smoke alarms taken down, batteries removed

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Saturday got off to a busy start for Bend Fire & Rescue crews who first tackled a 2-story-tall burning pile of bark chips and mulch in southeast Bend, then less than an hour later got called to a house fire in the northeast part of town.

Shortly after 8 a.m., several 911 calls reported smoke coming from the yard at Fagen Tree Service on Southeast Second Street, near the Bend Parkway, Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said.

Crews arrived to find the flames on the 20-foot-tall pile of bark chips and mulch, threatening trees and an adjacent structure on Second Street, she said.

The fire was knocked down quickly, with the help of an engine and water tender crew from the adjacent US Forest Service compound. After the fire was controlled, the scene was turned back over to the property owner, to use heavy equipment and hose lines to finish putting out the blaze.

While firefighting efforts were still underway there, a house fire was reported shortly before 9 a.m. in the 3000 block of Northeast Wells Acres Road, Kettering said.

Crews arrived to find a fire involving an exterior deck on the south side of the three-story home had traveled up an exterior wall and extended into void spaces on the second and third floors. Kettering said the fire required an extensive overhaul effort, to ensure it was completely out.

While the area of origin was traced to the exterior deck, adjacent to the steps, investigators were unable to determine the fire’s exact cause, Kettering said.

Losses were estimated at $80,000 to the home and $20,000 in contents. The American Red Cross was called in to assist the home’s two displaced occupants.

"Bend Fire & Rescue would like to remind the community that working smoke alarms are critical," Kettering said in a news release.

"Statistically, most fire deaths and injuries occur during the hours of midnight and 8 am, when most people are sleeping," she said. "That working smoke alarm may be the only warning you have of a fire."

On Saturday, Kettering said, "firefighters found that many of the smoke alarms in the home on Wells Acres had been taken down from the ceiling and the batteries removed."

She urged residents to keep smoke alarms in working condition, change batteries annually (if they are not equipped with a long-life lithium battery), and replace alarms when they reach 10 years of age.

For more tips on smoke alarms, visit Bend Fire's website at

Article Topic Follows: Fire

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