Tenants of a northeast Bend 4-plex arrived home early Friday evening after running an errand to find the cooking pot they had left unattended on their kitchen stove had caught fire, causing an estimated $15,500 in damage.
Upon their return, the occupants discovered the pot had caught fire igniting the stove, cabinets and sheetrock. They were able to extinguish the fire and left the premises.
When 14 Bend Fire personnel responded to the scene at about 5:40 p.m. on August 11, they confirmed the fire was out and evacuated the smoke which had spread throughout the building.
However, Battalion Chief Bill Boos of the Bend Fire Department says tenants Willie and Claudia Farias of 414 NE Norton Avenue made two potentially fatal mistakes. First, he warns, if you are cooking food and need to leave the premises you should always make sure all cooking units are off. Second, said Boos, you should never reenter a structure when there is a fire. In addition to other dangers, the gases in the smoke can have lasting effects on your health.
According to a news release from the Bend Fire Department, the building owned by Tom and Rosalee Bernhardt was insured.