Fire consumes motel garage in Blue River

The motel's manager, Kent Roberts, said due to their rural location it took over 40 minutes for those crews to arrive.

Posted: Jun 2, 2019 7:21 PM
Updated: Jun 3, 2019 10:14 AM

BLUE RIVER, Ore. -- Crews responded to a fire that started at Harbicks Country Inn Sunday afternoon. 

Motel manager Kent Roberts said due to their rural location, it took over 40 minutes for crews to arrive. Eugene Springfield Fire, the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District and McKenzie Fire were among the agencies that responded.

"It got real big real fast, and then it became much more of a job to make sure we didn't have some other buildings because we know that one was engulfed," said Roberts.

Roberts told KEZI they had just finished cleaning the units in the motel Sunday afternoon after the current guests checked out and before new ones checked in - that's when he saw flames bursting out of the garage.

He said he ran and got a hose and soon was joined by half a dozen men who were on their way back from a Bikers Against Child Abuse event.

"There were a lot of really brave young men that swooped right in and said, 'We're right behind you. We're helping you out,' so you know human nature is pretty good and people are great in these situations," Roberts said.

He said because of the of size of the fire, propane tanks inside started to explode. He said one even hit a tree nearby, causing a chunk to come out of it.

Fire Chief Rainbow Plews with the Upper McKenzie Rural Fire Protection District said sparks flew into the forest, but because we haven't hit fire season yet, the trees did not catch fire.

Roberts said thankfully crews were able to get the fire completely extinguished before it spread to damage other structures.

Fire officials told KEZI no one was hurt. It's unknown at this time when they will be back open to the public.

Roberts said the monetary damage will definitely be in the thousands, but he also said at the end of the day it's just stuff -- they will rebuild, and they will recover.

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