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Man who died in Oakridge fire is identified

Oakridge police officers were trying to contact the man on a warrant when he barricaded himself inside a cabin.

Posted: Jan 2, 2020 2:31 PM
Updated: Jan 6, 2020 3:04 PM

OAKRIDGE, Ore. – The man who died in a fire in an Oakridge cabin has been identified as James Edward Anderson, 50, of Oakridge.

The identification was determined during the investigation into the incident, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said.

Court documents show Anderson was wanted out of Sherman County on a theft charge, accused of stealing a $450 cooler from a Grass Valley business.

On Monday, Oakridge police officers were trying to arrest Anderson on the theft warrant when he barricaded himself inside a cabin, the sheriff’s office said. Oakridge police called for assistance at 7:30 p.m. on Monday.

Authorities said the cabin was east of Oakridge near Highway 58 and Warner Creek Road up a narrow road overgrown with vegetation.

Deputies and officers were unable to get the man to come out, and shortly before 3 a.m., authorities heard a small explosion followed by a fire in the cabin.

Deputies said firefighters couldn’t get their truck through to the cabin on the narrow road. Due to heat and explosions likely caused by propane tanks, first responders were forced to back away from the area until the fire was out. Once the fire was extinguished the man’s body was found inside the cabin.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office and the Lane County Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the death. The Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the fire.

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