House fire caused by propane heater, man in hospital

A propane heater being used inside of a home is the suspected cause of a fire that which destroyed a single-wide mobile home at 30005 Fairview Rd. in Lebanon and sent one man to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis with non-life threatening injuries.

The 7:58 a.m. call brought ten units and sixteen personnel from the Lebanon Fire District who were on scene at 8:05 a.m. First arriving units described the home as fully involved with fire and began efforts to protect nearby unburned exposures from being ignited from the intense radiant heat.

Preliminary reports indicate that an occupant was using a propane heater in a bedroom which caught a blanket on fire and quickly spread to a mattress. The occupant attempted to drag the mattress from the home but only spread fire throughout the house and received burns to his body in the process. A passerby saw smoke billowing from the home and called 911 to report the fire.

Initial fire suppression efforts were hampered by a live power line which had burned through and fallen across the driveway, creating a barrier between fire personnel and the blaze.

Firefighters were forced to make alternative access to the structure which delayed getting water on the fire. Early on during the incident water was in short supply as there are no hydrants in the immediate area and fire engines only carry 750 gallons of water which lasts roughly 4-5 minutes.

Lebanon relied on volunteer personnel to respond with water tenders carrying upwards of 2,000 gallons each to set up portable water tanks at the scene for fire engines to draft from.

The fire was contained at 8:42 a.m. and crews remained on scene throughout the morning mopping up hot spots. A second alarm was called for both additional manpower and water, bringing two units and five personnel from the Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District as well as one unit and four personnel from the Albany Fire Department. In all, 13 units and 25 personnel were involved.

Lebanon continued to stay busy during the fire as well, handling 4 medical emergencies with on duty crews, off-duty callback personnel, and Medic 71, the medic unit shared by Lebanon, Albany, and Tangent Fire Districts.

The Lebanon Fire District would like to stress that propane heaters or appliances should never be used inside of your home. Propane heaters produce carbon monoxide which is odorless and displaces oxygen within confined spaces, leading to death.

In addition, space heaters should never be left unattended and should only be used in open spaces, away from combustibles. Any space heater used inside of a structure should be UL listed and plugged directly into an outlet, never into an extension cord or power tap (strip) as the large electric draw from space heaters can overload these cords and lead to fire. For more information on home fire safety contact the Lebanon Fire District at 541-451-1901 or visit their website at www.lebanonfire.org.