Just before 12 p.m. on May 19, Depoe Bay Professional Fire Fighters Local 5154 were dispatched to a reported structure fire at a home in Gleneden Beach.
After receiving multiple reports, mutual aid resources from North Lincoln Fire and Rescue, Newport Fire and additional crews from Depoe Bay Fire were dispatched to the home. In total, three chief officers, five fire engines and multiple support vehicles and personnel responded to the scene, which remained active until 9 p.m.
When crews arrived, they found an attached garage of one residence fully engulfed with fire and extending to the main structure of the home.
The flames and radiant heat were also spreading to an adjacent home under construction. Crews immediately went to work to protect the adjacent structure, while simultaneously working to stop the main fire from further spreading through the remainder of the home where the fire had started.
The fire was under control within 20 minutes, but crews completed extensive overhaul, which lasted well over three hours. Residents in both homes were able to evacuate without injury.
The garage of the primary house involved was a total loss, with extensive damage extending into the living spaces of the main house. A boat and pickup truck were also destroyed during the firefight. The damage to the adjacent structure appeared to be cosmetic only. Electric and gas utilities had to be disconnected to multiple homes in the neighborhood as a result of the fire. Utility companies worked through the night to restore services to those affected.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal determined that there was an estimated $500,000 worth of damage.
“I would say about 90 percent of the contents in and around the house were completely destroyed by the fire, smoke and water,” Depoe Bay Assistant Fire Chief Bryan Daniels said. “They hired a cleanup crew to come in and try to salvage anything they could from the house.”
Red Cross resources were on scene to help the victims secure lodging accommodations and support. The State Fire Marshal and the Lincoln County Fire Investigation Team are ruling the fire to be accidental.
Daniels said because it was determined to be accidental, there really was not much the residents could do to prevent it. However, he reminded everyone of the importance of practicing fire safety and making sure fire detectors are operational, which was not the case here.
“The occupants were inside watching TV while the garage was on fire,” Daniels said. “The neighbor actually had to come over and let them know the garage was on fire because they weren’t aware of it at all.
“It’s always important to have a plan, have supplies, practice and identify your escape routes in case of emergency and make sure you have a functional smoke detector.”