A garage fire started by gas vapor reaching a propane heater, spread to two adjacent buildings in southeast Bend late Tuesday morning. Four different fire agencies attacked the fire.
The fire was reported around 11:35 a.m. at SE Centennial Street and SE Woodland Blvd.
A deputy fire marshal says the homeowners were working on a motorcycle in the garage when the fire started. They tried to use a fire extinguisher but were unable to put the fire out.
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The homeowners called 911 to report the fire and report that there was ammunition stored in the garage.
“I was in my kitchen and heard what I thought was gunshots,” neighbor Noelle Elliott said. “It was a lot of popping. Then I came out and saw black smoke.”
Bend Fire said there were reports of explosions, which were attributed to the ammunition, propane tanks, motorcycle tires and paint in the garage.
The fire spread from the garage to the home as well as to a duplex on the other side. Bend Fire said flames extended into the trees, sending flames 50-75 feet in the air and a dark column of smoke up.
Several spot fires were extinguished on the east side of the railroad tracks. Bend Fire said BNSF stopped rail traffic for about an hour during the fire to prevent damage to trains and keep crews safe.
Four people were safely evacuated. A total of nine people were displaced.
Three dogs in the home were also rescued.
Total loss is estimated at $350,000.
In addition to Bend Fire, resources from Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver and Alfalfa also responded.