BEND, OR -- Bend Fire crews responded to two destructive structure fires, Monday morning. The first was spotted by a passerby just before 5:30 a.m. at a commercial building near Ninth and Wilson. Investigators say the blaze started when an extension cord was pinched by equipment inside the Eagle Mountain Fellowship church.
The second occurred just after 10 a.m. northeast of Bend. Battalion Chief Dave Howe says when firefighters arrived on Pioneer Loop, it was too late to save the shed. "So, their biggest concern was the wildland component around the shed – there’s trees, brush, grass and it was on fire. So, they immediately called for some help from the Oregon Department of Forestry and Deschutes National Forest. Those guys showed up with two brush crews and contained the fire to 2/10 of an acre; which is pretty darn good, considering the weather and fuel condition."
Howe tells KBND this is a busy time of year for the department. "In a city our size, it’s not unusual to have more than one working fire in a day – maybe we have three or four in the summertime, because of the fuel conditions."
The Eagle Mountain Fellowship fire caused about $150,000 in damage. The Pioneer Loop shed was a total loss, estimated at $40,000; that fire started when combustibles caught fire due to heat from a nearby woodstove.