(Update: New fire dept. info, photo)
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A home on Redmond School District property near Ridgeview High School that was supposed to be vacated but still had someone living in it was heavily damaged by a fire of suspicious origin Thursday morning, officials said.
The fire was reported about 9:15 a.m. at a home in the 4600 block of SW Elkhorn Avenue that was scheduled for demolition, Redmond Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Ken Brown said. Initial reports from firefighters said the living room and part of the kitchen were ablaze, he said.
Bystanders and district employees said the house was supposed to be vacated, but someone might be living inside. Brown said the resident was in the process of moving out, and their personal items made search efforts difficult.
The fire initially was attacked from the exterior, hampered by the amount of personal items that also restricted access. Crews were pulled out of the home for safety concerns, Brown said. The resident was quickly located and officials determined no one was inside.
Nearly two-dozen firefighters were called to the scene, with mutual-aid support provided by the Cloverdale, Bend and Crooked River Ranch fire agencies.
An estimate of losses from the fire was not immediately available, and the cause of the fire was undetermined, Brown said.
School District spokeswoman Sheila Miller said the home, on the same lot as the high school, has been a rental property for as long as the district has owned it. She said it was slated for demolition, but the district did not yet have a permit to do so.
Deschutes County property tax records show the structure worth about $287,000, on property worth about $270,000. The 2,260-square-foot home was built in 1939, and there are three farm buildings on the 10-acre property as well, records show.