News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters homes damaged by fires

Two separate incidents last week left homes in Sisters damaged by fire.

Working smoke alarms alerted a homeowner Tuesday afternoon, October 5, of smoke and sparks shooting out of the exterior of his home on Fox Ridge Circle north of town. Law enforcement and the homeowner attempted to extinguish the fire while the fire department responded.

When firefighters arrived on scene, smoke and flames were visible from under the house, on the first floor near an electrical meter, on an overhanging roof above the entry, and slowly pushing out of the attic space. A total of 32 firefighters responded from Sisters-Camp Sherman, Black Butte Ranch, Cloverdale, and Alfalfa Fire Districts. They worked on both the exterior and interior of the home to extinguish the fire.

All occupants and two cats were safely evacuated. The homeowner stated that a new hot water heater had been installed recently, however a cause has not been determined, and the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal is conducting an investigation. Damage estimates are yet to be determined.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon Department of Forestry assisted at the scene and Bend Fire and Rescue assisted with ambulance coverage from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District’s main station during the incident.

A homeowner breaking in a new exterior propane fireplace, installed during a remodel in progress at her home on Jordan Road, noted an occasional smell of smoke and then visible smoke near the roof of a new addition on Wednesday evening, October 6, and

alerted 911.

Firefighters arrived to find light smoke in the area of the driveway and smoke seeping through the stone masonry around the chimney chase, the ridge vent of the covered patio area, and the recessed light fixtures on the underside of the covered patio roof. The interior of the house had no visible smoke or fire.

A total of 26 firefighters responded from Sisters-Camp Sherman, Black Butte Ranch, and Cloverdale Fire Districts. Firefighters accessed the exterior chimney and found flames after removing the large sheet-metal cap in place to cover the chimney chase. Personnel worked with chainsaws and other tools to remove the chimney chase and roofing materials adjacent to the chimney to ensure all fire had been extinguished before covering holes created by the removal to prevent damage from the elements.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. Damage estimate is yet to be determined.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office assisted at the scene.

As temperatures drop going into fall and winter, local fire officials encourage residents to have existing heating equipment including woodstoves and fireplaces cleaned and inspected by a certified technician prior to their first use. New equipment should be installed by a qualified professional according to local codes and manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, residents are encouraged to clear roofs and gutters of leaves and pine needles and keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment.

For more information, contact the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District at 541-549-0771.


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