By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
A fun night of fireworks turned into tragic accident for the Tapper family.
Jon Tapper, his wife Anouk, and their daughter Snow were out of town on Fourth of July on a river trip last year.
Their son Forrest was at home with a few friends lighting off fireworks, that’s when they made a mistake.
“They didn’t want the driveway to be dirty upon our return so they cleaned all the fireworks up and put them in the garbage, and that went in the garage when they came back upstairs,” Tapper said. “And those smoldering fireworks set off a fire in the garage that spread very quickly throughout the house.”
Forrest and his friends made it out safely while the rest of the family rushed back to Bend. The house however was destroyed, and the family lost everything.
“To walk up and see the entire living room destroyed, the bedroom, the garage, everything,” Tapper said. “The kitchen, smoke damage everywhere, it was heartbreaking to a magnitude that I hadn’t ever really experienced myself.”
As the anniversary of the fire, and Fourth of July approaches, Tapper hopes his family’s experience serves as a lesson to others.
“You don’t get on a bicycle without putting on a helmet, and you shouldn’t use fireworks without knowing that they need to be dunked every single time.”
Since the fire, the Tappers have been hopping between hotels, Airbnbs, and a neighbor’s home. They only moved back into their now renovated home on Thursday.
“Instead of crying and worrying about the future, we were able to look forward to spending our first night in our new home,” Tapper said. “It was really wonderful, really gratifying and we’re really grateful.”