Fire destroys Fern Ridge home

A fire destroyed a Fern Ridge home last week when carbonized wood heated up around a wood stove and ignited.

The fire, reported at 10:53 p.m. on Nov. 28 at 26555 Fern Ridge Rd. was occupied by Felix E. and Doris L. LaFond and owned by Wes Staley.

Firefighters found the home fully involved upon their arrival, Battalion Chief Doug Emmert said. Both occupants of the home had made it outside. Mr. LaFond received minor burns.

There had been a wood stove in the house for some 30 years, Fire Chief Dean Gray said. The masonry portions and the flue were sandwiched between wood studs with no airspace around them. Over time, heat carbonized the wood decreasing its ignition temperature. Eventually, the wood auto-ignited.

The home was a total loss. The structure was estimated at a $150,000 value and the contents of the home at $100,000. The structure was insured but the contents were not.

Fighting the fire was complicated by a lack of a water source, Emmert said. Brownsville and Lebanon fire departments both send a tender to assist in shuttling water. The fire used two engines and three tenders with 22 firefighters.

Sweet Home Fire Department cleared from the fire at 1:40 a.m. on Nov. 29.