A person whose body was found in a double-wide manufactured home that burned Wednesday afternoon in the Deschutes River Woods subdivision in Bend died of smoke-inhalation, said investigators. The victim has been identified, although the Sheriff’s Office has withheld the name pending notification of family members.
The joint investigation by the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office and the Bend Fire Department determined the cause of the fire: improper disposal of cigarettes. “No foul play has occurred,” said Lt. Erik Utter.
“All deaths that occur under suspicious or unknown circumstances are required by Oregon Revised Statutes to be investigated by law enforcement, the medical examiner, and the local district attorney’s office”, the lieutenant said.
Bend Fire personnel and Deschutes County Sheriff’s deputies rushed to 19436 Baker Road about 4 p.m. January 17 in response to several 9-1-1 calls reporting a structure fire at that location. Flames were visible inside the single-story manufactured home, and “a large amount” of smoke was pouring out when fire personnel entered the home to extinguish the blaze, said Lt. Utter.
Once the fire was out, a search of the residence was conducted and the victim’s body was discovered.
Deputy Fire Marshal Susie Lovisco estimated $20,000 in damage to the double-wide, and $5,000 to its contents. She reported the Bend Fire Department dispatched three fire engines, one water-tender, a rescue truck, command vehicle, and an ambulance to the scene.
According to public records available through the Deschutes County web site, Lee A. Cornelius is the owner of the Baker Road property.