In both cases, without alarms, “the result could have been very different

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — Residents of two homes, in southeast Bend and southern Deschutes County, were woken by smoke detectors early Sunday morning — key not only to keeping outdoor fires from causing greater damage to their homes, but allowing them to escape unscathed, authorities said.

Bend Fire and Rescue crews responded around 1:25 a.m. to a reported fire at a two-story home in the 21100 block of Southeast Azalia Avenue, arriving to find police helping residents evacuate, said Deputy Fire Marshal Susie Maniscalco.

Three engine crews, a medical unit and two support units responded and found the fire on an exterior wall at the rear of the house, near a chimney termination vent. They quickly did it with their initial attack lines, Maniscalco said.

The sole occupant was sleeping at the time, in a second-floor bedroom directly over the fire, and awoke to the sound of her smoke alarm; Maniscalco said the batteries in the alarm had just been replaced. She evacuated the house with her dog and called 911.

The fire was caused by the home’s natural gas fireplace, although the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, the fire official said.

Losses were estimated at $20,000 for the structure and $2,000 for the contents.

“Bend Fire and Rescue reminds citizens that working smoke alarms save lives,” Maniscalco said in a press release. “Remember to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least twice a year and test them once a month.

“If the smoke alarms weren’t working in this case, the outcome could have been very different,” she added. “Bend Fire and Rescue will install free smoke detectors for those who need them and change your batteries at no charge.”

In the second unrelated fire, La Pine Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched shortly before 3 a.m. to a reported house fire south of Sunriver in the 17000 block of Wood Duck Court, located on the Oregon Water Wonderland Subdivision. #2, south of Sunriver. .

Duty officer Andy Rigney said the owners were woken by smoke alarms and found some smoke inside the house, went to investigate – and ‘found the whole back porch on fire’ . They were able to escape, along with their dogs.

La Pine fire crews arrived on the scene in about 10 minutes and had the blaze at the two-story riverside home extinguished in a further 10 minutes, checking that it was not spreading inside the house. There was, however, extensive exterior damage to the wood siding on both sides of the house, Rigney said.

La Pine dispatched two engine crews, two water tenders and three command personnel to the scene, assisted by Sunriver fire and police and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

The blaze was taken out so quickly that crews didn’t need to shut off power to the home, Rigney said, adding that residents were “very lucky”, thanks in large part to smoke detectors. .