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Early-morning fire destroys 104-year-old NW Bend home; resident awakens to smell of smoke, all 8 escape safely

Courtesy: Connect Central Oregon
Bend adult care home fire NW Hill Street Bend FD 6-18
Bend Fire & Rescue
Early-morning fire destroyed large century-old home in NW Bend

Resident awakened smelling smoke; home's smoke alarms not working; discarded cigarettes the cause

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A stubborn, smoldering fire traced to cigarettes disposed of in a combustible container on the front deck destroyed a 104-year-old home in northwest Bend early Tuesday morning, but one resident awakened to the smell of smoke and all eight got out safely, officials said,

Several callers to Deschutes County 911 around 5:20 a.m. reported the structure fire just west of the Bend Parkway and north of the Revere Avenue exit, Bend Fire & Rescue Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said.

The first crews to arrive found the large house on fire in the 1900 block of Northwest Hill Street and began efforts to put it out, Kettering said.

The fire began on the home’s exterior, “burning up the siding and into the attic and void spaces of the structure, resulting in a fire that was both stubborn and challenging to extinguish,” the fire official said in a news release. Crews were on scene until about 9:30 a.m. to fully put out the blaze and will be checking on it periodically through the day, she said.

The 2,600-square-foot home, built in 1920, was formerly a care home, with multiple bedrooms, and had eight adult tenants at the time of the fire. All are now displaced and receiving disaster assistance from the American Red Cross.

Losses are estimated at $400,000 to the structure and $200,000 to contents.

An investigation found that cigarettes improperly discarded into a combustible container on the front deck of the home resulted in a fire that smoldered for several hours, Kettering said.

One tenant reported he thought he smelled smoke around 11:30 p.m., before going to bed, “but dismissed it as drift smoke from a wildfire,” Kettering wrote.

The fire smoldered undetected, consuming the deck area and traveling up the exterior siding into the attic space.

“While the home did have smoke alarms, it does not appear they operated,” Kettering said.

 One of the residents woke up smelling smoke and alerted the other occupants to the fire.  

"This could have been a far different outcome, had one of the tenants not awakened to the smell of smoke," Kettering said.

She noted that in 2022, there were 3,790 U.S. civilian fire deaths and 13,250 injuries due to home structure fires.  

"A smoke alarm can double your chances of surviving a fire, but only if it is working properly," she said. "Smoke alarms are designed to last about 10 years; after that they can start malfunctioning or may quit working altogether."

Bend Fire & Rescue has programs aimed at ensuring that every home has at least one working smoke alarm.  For more information, visit their website at

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