BendCause of fire that resulted in $230K damage to Broken Top home...

Cause of fire that resulted in $230K damage to Broken Top home traced to gas fireplace vent pipe

Cause of fire that resulted in 0K damage to Broken Top home traced to gas fireplace vent pipe

(Update: Cause information released)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A fire that caused $230,000 damage to a home in southwest Bend’s Broken Top subdivision Thursday evening was caused by a gas fireplace vent pipe that was too close to structural framing for years, leading to eventual ignition, an official said Friday.

Bend Fire & Rescue was dispatched around 6:30 p.m. Thursday to the reported house fire in the 61900 block of Fall Creek Loop, Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering said.

The initial report indicated the fire was in a back bedroom and the roof area. Kettering said crews found a working fire, with smoke coming from the tile roof and the main body of the fire in the attic space.

The fire was called in by the property owner, who had just arrived Thursday, as they winter in warmer climes, Kettering said. He was the only one home, and since the fire was mainly in the attic, the smoke alarms had not yet begun sounding when he discovered the fire, she added.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze and remained on scene for just over two hours, the fire official said.

Losses were estimated at $200,000 to the $1.1 million home and $30,000 in contents.

An investigation determined a vent pipe for the gas fireplace was too close to structural framing, Kettering said Friday.

The wood structural members were exposed to high heat over a period of years, drying and degrading the wood and leading to a process called pyrolysis, she said. As the wood degrades, the temperature required to ignite the wood decreases, until it reaches the point of ignition.

“In this case, the fire was mostly contained within the wall and attic space of the home,” Kettering said.

“Bend Fire & Rescue would like to remind the community that anything producing heat needs space around it,” her news release stated. “Maintain clearance between combustible materials and appliances such as fireplaces and woodstoves.  Have fireplaces and woodstoves inspected and cleaned annually, and don’t leave a fire burning unattended.”

For more information on home fire safety, visit their website: at https://www.bendoregon.gov/government/departments/fire-rescue/education-safety-tips.

The post Cause of fire that resulted in $230K damage to Broken Top home traced to gas fireplace vent pipe appeared first on KTVZ.

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