The Bend Fire Department says cigarette butts sparked a blaze that destroyed a home north of Cooley Road between U.S. Highway 20 and U.S. Highway 97 early Monday morning.
Firefighters from Bend and Redmond, as well as deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, responded to the home. They found the building, on Crooked Rocks Road, “fully involved in fire.” The roof collapsed over the living room and kitchen and the home was a total loss, according to a press release from the Bend Fire Department.
All occupants escaped the fire, and firefighters saved a cat that was in a bedroom of the home.
An investigation revealed smokers who lived in the home were placing their cigarette butts into a plastic container on the back deck. The fire started in this container and spread to the deck, then into the garage through an open door, according to the press release. “A large amount of combustible materials in the garage, as well as a cylinder of acetylene gas, allowed the fire to spread quickly into the attic space,” according to the fire department.
The Bend Fire Department wants to remind smokers to dispose of cigarette butts and used matches in a noncombustible container, on a non-combustible surface such as soil or concrete. Smokers should place water or sand inside the container to provent the contents from catching fire.
— Bulletin staff report