EUGENE, Ore.– The Eugene Fire Department estimates the damage of a 2-alarm house fire at $850,000. Homeowners Tony and Karoline Chavez held each other as they looked at what was left of their home.
“It’s just so devastating to lose 51 years of treasured memories,” said Karoline Chavez.
Ashes sprinkled along the keys of the grand piano. Karoline says on the fourth of July, the piano played patriotic songs. She had no idea it would be the piano’s last recital.
The roof over the kitchen has caved in and the front porch where the Chavez’s watched fireworks the night before flames ripped through their home. All that’s left is a gold picture frame with a postcard the Chavez’s sent out eight years ago, announcing to family and friends that they have arrived in their new home on Lakeview Drive in North Eugene.
Tony built the home along with twelve others in the neighborhood. They named the cross street Darrien Street after their daughter. It’s the very street the Chavez’s were standing last Friday as they watched their home burning.
“It was just devastating and it was like I was in a dream and I would just wake up. It just couldn’t be real,” said Karoline.
The Eugene Fire Department says fireworks caused the 2-alarm fire. The Chavez’s hope after seeing the images, others will be careful with fireworks.
“You never know when one spark is going to go, I just hope people will be careful with fireworks,” said Tony.
Even though they have to start over, the Chavez’s are thankful they have each other’s shoulder to lean on.
“Even though it’ll take a little bit of time, we can get through it,” said Tony.
“I’m just so thankful that we still have each other,” added Karoline.
The Chavez’s plan to tear their home down and rebuild it. Investigators are still trying to figure out where the fireworks that caused the fire came from.