Riggs Hill fire raises concern until home’s occupant found

Scott Swanson

Fire destroyed a house near the intersection of Riggs Hill Road and Highway 20 early Thursday, March 4.

The blaze was reported at 4:04 a.m., said Fire Chief Dave Barringer of the Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District.

Fire crews arrived at 1280 Riggs Hill Road to find the two-story house completely engulfed in flames, Barringer said.

Four engines, two tenders and a battalion chief responded, he said.

“It was what we call a ‘defensive attack,’ initially,” he said, adding that they put it out with water.

Initially, the occupant of the home could not be located, officials said, and there was concern that he might be in the structure.

The state Fire Marshal’s Office responded early Thursday, after local firefighters combed the ruins.

Later, though, Barringer said, the occupant was located, safe and sound.

“Nobody was in the fire. We verified later on that there was nobody there,” he said, adding that it is believed to have started on the back porch from “an undetermined ignition source.”

The structure, owned by Northern Investments, was a total loss, he said. The house and contents were valued at roughly $150,000, Barringer said.