Fire destroys historic home on Ash Street

A rapidly advancing fire tore through a historic Lebanon home on July 30, injuring two firefighters and a civilian and displacing three occupants.

The 911 call was received at 10:44 p.m. for a garage fire at 480 E. Ash St. in Lebanon. The caller reported a fire in a detached garage at the rear of the house. The first arriving Battalion Chief was on scene at 10:49 p.m. and reported a fully involved garage with extension into the house.

The two-story craftsman home with a full basement was built in 1912 and is listed as 2,679 square feet on the county registry.

The detached garage was connected to the home by a covered breezeway, and initial evidence indicates that fire traveled under the covered area to the main home where it then entered the structure via the eaves and soffits.

Homes built in the early 20th century often used balloon construction which featured walls with no fire stops between the basement and the attic space. Once fire enters these walls it can rapidly travel unobstructed throughout the entire frame system and can quickly engulf an entire home in a matter of minutes.

LFD’s Battalion Chief immediately struck a second alarm upon arrival, bringing mutual aid from the Albany, Sweet Home, Brownsville, and Tangent Fire Departments.

Lebanon utilized 18 firefighters and 8 apparatus and had the fire under control in just over an hour. Crews remained on scene until 3:30 a.m. mopping up and extinguishing hot spots.

There were three residents in the home at the time of the fire and all three were able to evacuate the structure before firefighters arrived. One resident was treated on the scene for smoke inhalation.

Two Lebanon firefighters were injured during suppression operations and were transported to Lebanon Community Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. One firefighter suffered a back strain during operations and another suffered a blunt trauma injury to the head when he was struck by a flying portion of a home oxygen cylinder which had ruptured. The large piece of metal struck the firefighter in the helmet as he was operating a hose line outside of the structure. Both firefighters were treated and released and are recovering from their injuries.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by fire investigators.

LFD reminds all citizens to ensure that they have properly working smoke detectors in their homes. Fire can grow and spread rapidly throughout your home and a working smoke detector can give you time to escape the blaze.

For more information on home fire prevention, contact the Lebanon Fire District at 541-451-1901.

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