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Family of 5 escapes as fire destroys home south of La Pine; cause traced to space heater

Early-AM fire destroyed manufactured home south of La Pine; family, pets escaped
La Pine Rural Fire Protection District
Early-AM fire destroyed manufactured home south of La Pine; family, pets escaped

Propane space heater was put under home to keep pipes from freezing

La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A family of five and their two dogs were awakened by heavy smoke early Monday morning and escaped a fire that destroyed their manufactured home south of La Pine. Investigators traced the lcause to a propane space heater placed under the home to keep pipes from freezing.

La Pine Rural Fire Protection District firefighters responded around 3:40 a.m. to the reported fire in the 15300 block of Derri Court, in northern Klamath County, Fire Chief Mike Supkis said.

There was no report of a working smoke detector in the 1,600-square-foot manufactured home, but the family of five was able to evacuate with their two dogs, Supkis said. One resident suffered minor smoke inhalation after trying to re-enter the home, he added.

Eight La Pine firefighters arrived on a quick response (4x4) unit, engine and two tenders. Supkis said access was difficult due to snowy roads and a long, unplowed drive to the home, located atop a hill.

La Pine firefighters received assistance from the Crescent RFPD, which sent a medic unit to check out the injured person. The Sunriver Fire Department assisted by handling two other medical calls during the 4 ½ hours firefighters were at the fire scene.

Firefighters used over 15,000 gallons of water fighting the fire, challenged by high winds and the winter snowstorm, Supkis said.

They were able to limit the fire’s spread and protect nearby vehicles, sheds and RVs, but the home and family’s belongings were a total loss. There was no initial estimate of losses, but the fire chief said the property was reportedly uninsured.

The family and pets were brought to the DOOR emergency warming shelter in La Pine, and the American Red Cross was contacted to provide further assistance.

La Pine firefighters are accepting donations to assist the family, which has also created a GoFundMe page to seek help from the public.

KTVZ news sources

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