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An early morning structure fire caused an estimated $10-thousand dollars damage on Joe Neil Road, northeast of Bend.  Bend Fire & Rescue responded to a report of smoke coming from under the house around 6:30 Sunday morning.  Firefighters found smoke coming into the house from around the fireplace.  After dismantling the fireplace, they found the mortar between the fireplace box and hearth had fail, allowing embers to fall onto the subflooring and starting a fire.  They were able to extinguish the flames…preventing further damage to the house.   There were no injuries during the incident.  Fire officials recommend that fireplaces and woodstoves are cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.

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