LEBANON, Ore. -- Fire officials are urging the public to install smoke alarms and to check them regularly after two homes were severely damaged in fires on Friday night.
Neither home had working smoke alarms. Both homes were complete losses.
A fire destroyed a home on Hobbs Street Friday night.
The calls, which were within a five-hour span, stretched the Lebanon Fire District’s resources thin.
First, crews responded to the 30000 block of Fairview Road at about 5:40 p.m. after receiving reports of heavy smoke.
Both residents escaped, but the home was fully on fire when firefighters arrived.
As crews worked to put out the fire, the second floor partially collapsed, making the building unsafe to enter. Crews used existing openings in the structure to get the fire completely out.
Officials said the fire was started by a wood stove pipe that was improperly installed. They said it was up against a wood framing piece, and the constant heat caused the wood to ignite.
The fire then spread to the interior wall space and throughout the entire home. Investigators believe the fire had been smoldering for a while, and when the residents opened windows to clear the smoke, it gave the fire extra oxygen to spread quickly.
As firefighters were leaving the first fire, with some units staying behind, another house fire was reported, this time in the 100 block of Hobbs Street.
Arriving at the fire, crews found heavy fire and smoke at the back of a multi-family property. The home at the back of the property was fully on fire and firefighters were concerned it could spread. However, the fire was put out before it could get to a nearby shop or another home.
Both residents escaped unharmed.
Officials said the fire started in the back bedroom, but due to the heavy destruction, they were unable to determine a cause.
“We recommend a smoke alarm in every bedroom, one outside of the bedroom areas, and at least one on each level of a home,” Fire Marshal Jason Bolen said. “And if your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, it needs to be replaced.”
The Lebanon Fire District runs a smoke alarm program in conjunction with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Firefighters will go to homes in the district to install the proper number of alarms at no charge to the homeowner, Bolen said. To date, the program has led to the installation of about 850 smoke alarms in the city.
For more information, contact Deputy Fire Marshal Ken Foster at 541-451-1901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.