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Investigators: Oily rags sparked Terrebonne fire

Published On: Apr 28 2013 03:01:21 AM CDT   Updated On: Apr 29 2013 02:02:04 PM CDT
Terrebonne garage fire Jim Evans

Jim Evans

Terrebonne resident Jim Evans says he tried to go closer to this fierce garage fire Saturday night but two loud explosions prompted him to turn back


A detached garage-shop in Terrebonne was destroyed by a fierce fire Saturday night that sent flames shooting high into the sky. Neighbors reported hearing at least two loud explosions and one nearby home was evacuated as a precaution.

Investigators said Sunday the fire had a sadly familiar cause: Oily deck-staining rags that ignited after a warm day.

Redmond fire crews were called around 9:35 p.m. to the fire at Rian LeBlanc’s property at 8425 NW 18th Street, arriving to find the 400-square-foot garage engulfed in flames, said Fire Marshal Traci Cooper.

Firefighters protected the exposures and contained the fire to the building as they extinguished it.

Nearby resident Jim Evans videotaped the blaze and said, "I tried to walk down to get a closer look when it was happening. I heard two loud explosions and immediately turned back."

"It was a huge fire, with flames shooting way up in the air," he said.

Neighbor Kathy Shortreed said they were evacuated from their home, just 30 feet away, and that Rian and Amber LeBlanc's "business barn and all the supplies exploded in a huge fire."

Losses to the structure alone totaled $30,000, and the losses to contents were still being compiled.

More than a dozen career and volunteer firefighters were called out. Mutual aid assistance was provided by Crooked River Ranch at the scene and Bend firefighters for station coverage. Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies and Pacific Power also assisted, Cooper said.


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