Bend fire cause sought; funds raised for family
Updated On: Dec 24 2013 11:18:40 PM CST
A fast-moving fire described by neighbors as a massive fireball destroyed a mobile home in southeast Bend Monday evening and spread to two neighboring homes and several trees, forcing evacuations causing no injuries, officials said.
Firefighters responded shortly after 5 p.m. to the fire reported at the home in Space 6 of the Patio Mobile Home Park, at 330 SE Woodland Avenue, said Bend Fire Battalion Chief Bob Madden.
They arrived to find the single-wide mobile home fully involved and flames spreading to the front room of another single-wide in Space 8 as several trees burned, Madden said. Police officers were evacuating residents from adjoining homes.
Neighbors said the resident, a young woman with her son, ran out of the burning home and called 911.
Crews quickly knocked down the fire, but efforts to fully put it out were hampered by downed power lines as Pacific Power crews worked to remove those hazards, the battalion chief said.
The mobile home in Space 6, owned by Pete Wick with Courtney Carroll the resident, was destroyed, while the Space 8 home had significant fire and smoke damage. Another home, in Space 4, had damage to its deck and siding, Madden said.
Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and the American Red Cross was assisting the occupants.
Third Street Pub bartender Autumn Admire told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday morning that the business is collecting money and other donations for Carroll and her 18-month-old son, who were "lost everything but the clothes they had on their backs.
"This is an obvious tragedy at any time of year, but even more so during the holiday season," Admire wrote.
"With the loving holiday spirit in mind, we are raising money" for the family, she said, "to help them get a roof over their heads, and the necessities they need to live day to day."
The pub, at 314 SE Third St., is gathering donations during its business hours, 11 a.m.-2 a.m., except closing at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and closed on Christmas.
Along with monetary donations, they also are accepting items like clothes for the boy or small women's clothes, bathroom toiletries, diapers, wipes and non-perishable food.
"I know that if our community comes together, we can make this catastrophic event affect her as little as possible," Admire added.
Losses were estimated at $15,000 to the destroyed mobile home and $10,000 to its contents. Unit 8 had $10,000 in damage and Unit 4 about $5,000, said Madden, who added that the investigation looking for the cause of the fire would continue Tuesday.
Neighbor Gwenn Levine said firefighters “did an awesome job keeping this from taking out the whole neighborhood.”
And several said they'd never seen anything like it before.
"The girl who lived in the trailer started screaming, 'Help! Help! Fire!' recalled neighbor Matt McNeil. "And she was scrambling to get out with her baby, the flames coming out of the windows."
"The last picture I took, the entire front yard was on fire, moving up to the trees," he said. "It looked like a fireball."
The fire was the latest in a string of several house, mobile home and structure fires to hit Central Oregon in the days before Christmas. It caused serious traffic issues in the area, as streets were blocked for firefighting efforts.
Madden said there's no indication Monday's fire was connected to any others in the area.
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