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May 17,2007
Police to investigate NE Bend house fire as possible arson
by Cheryl McDermott

Fire inspectors have determined that a fire which completely destroyed a 2,600 square foot house under construction in northeast Bend on May 14 was human-caused, and the case has been turned over to Bend Police for further investigation.

Fire Inspector Dan Derlacki said it is unknown whether the fire was intentional or accidental, and that the blaze does not appear to be related to any other fires.

The fire threatened to burn nearby homes but only caused moderate heat damage, officials reported.  Recent estimates of radiant heat damage include $20,000 to the side of a home at 20725 Kilbourne Loop, and $3,000 damage to the garage door of 63834 Hunters Circle.  Derlacki said fire apparatus was also affected from extreme radiant heat, with $20,000 damage estimated.

Bend firefighters responded to the alarm at a two-story structure at 20721 Kilbourne Loop about 10:15 p.m. on May 14, said the fire inspector.  The home, under construction by the Hollman Company of Wilsonville, Oregon, was fully involved in fire when crews arrived.

17 firefighters from four engine companies and two command vehicles quickly watered down neighboring homes which were in danger from the intense heat, Derlacki said.  Crews got control of the fire quickly and were able to keep the fire contained to the partially completed home, although neighboring houses sustained moderate heat damage.

The building, valued at $200,000, was a complete loss.  Crews remained on scene throughout most of the night to mop up, and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, the fire inspector said.

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