Fire heavily damaged a Bend garage Sunday night, but crews were able to stop the flames from spreading to the house and three people inside the home escaped unharmed.
Bend Fire & Rescue responded to a reported structure fire at 20058 Grand Teton Dr. shortly after 11 p.m.
Deputy Fire Marshal Dan Derlacki said the estimated losses to the garage, attic space, and its contents were about $125,000, but the home was not insured.
Derlacki said the cause has been determined to be paper towels heated up in the microwave to dry and then put into the garage.
The owner attempted to dry out the wet paper towel roll in the microwave. When the towels became browned they decided to discard the roll into the garage, Derlacki said.
The roll continued to stay hot and eventually ignited and spread to nearby combustibles.
This is not a common cause but can happen in the right conditions, he said.
Using paper towels as food coverings while reheating in the microwaves is not the issue here, its the paper rolls that can cause the problem, Derlacki said.
“When the paper is tightly rolled up on a tub, it can retain heat and allow for ignition in the right conditions,” Derlacki said. “Please be safe drying materials in microwaves, ovens and dryers.”
Bend Fire Department reminds homeowners and renters/tenants to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for your home in the event of a disaster.
Check with your agent regularly to ensure coverage is up to date and enough to cover your home and belongings.