JUNCTION CITY, Ore. (KMTR) -- A fire in Junction City last night destroyed a house, leaving nothing but its foundation and chimneys.
Officials say the call reporting the fire came in at about 9:30 PM Saturday night, but by that time the house was already gone.
The fire occurred in the 26000 block of Fern Ridge Road, a rural area on a hillside, with a beautiful view of Fern Ridge Lake - a picture-perfect location for tenants, but a fireman's nightmare.
The report was made by people down the hill in the Richardson Park area; the fire was in full power when fire officials arrived. Surrounded by dry grasses and trees, the Lane County Fire Authority immediately drew a fire line to make sure the blaze didn't spread.
Another challenging aspect of this fire was transporting enough water up the quarter-mile one-lane road leading to the house. Getting fire vehicles up the road was hard enough and flat space near the house was also very limiting.
Earlier detection of this fire could have made a big difference.
“I can certainly understand why someone would like the peace and quiet and solitude, but there is a price you pay for having that solitude and that is you don't have neighbors that can look out for things like this happening,” says Fire Chief Terry Ney of Lane Fire Authority. “Obviously we strongly advocate residential sprinkler systems in houses that are built in a location like this because that certainly could have been a huge saving factor.”
Chief Ney estimates that Lane Fire Authority used 40,000 to 50,000 gallons of water last night trying to subdue the fire. Crews stayed through the night to keep an eye on things; they continued to work Sunday, as the embers were still extremely hot.
According to the Lane Fire Authority, neighbors say the house was a rental property and was in between tenants. They left several voicemail messages for the owners and the owners’ daughter, but have yet to reach them.
Inspectors say it's too early to say how the fire started and, with the extensive damage done to the building, it may be impossible to determine.