Fire officials credited quick-acting gas station attendants with preventing a potentially disastrous situation from becoming even worse Thursday when they used an emergency gas shut off and attempted to douse the flames of a burning motorhome with fire extinguishers.
Bend Fire Investigator Dan Derlacki said the owner of a 1978 Dodge Beaver Sportsman motorhome had noticed the smell of burning electrical wires from the engine compartment earlier in the day. The owner, Curtis Stromme, pulled under the canopy of the Arco gas station at 304 Northeast Greenwood Avenue in Bend to fill up his tank.
Station attendants reported seeing smoke as the vehicle pulled into the station, said Derlacki, and the fire was noticed a short time later.
Two engine companies, one command vehicle, and eight Bend Fire Department personnel responded to the call at about 10:20 a.m. on October 5 to find the recreational vehicle fully involved in fire. Crews quickly knocked the flames down with water and kept damage to the canopy to a minimum.
The uninsured motorhome was a total loss, with an estimated $4,000 in damage to the vehicle and $3,000 to contents. The insured building owned by BP Corporation suffered an estimated $5,000 in damage, according to Derlacki.
No injuries were reported, and the American Red Cross was notified to assist Stromme with alternate accommodations.