Rowell Hill home burns

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of an early-morning fire that destroyed a Rowell Hill home on June 17.

Firefighters responded to 26781 Rowell Hill Road at 5:59 a.m. to find the upper story of the home in flames.

The home is owned by Tom and Erica Bayham. No one was home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries.

The area of origin was in a closet, a kind of furnace room, said Guy Smith, battalion chief. The cause remains undetermined, and Linn County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police are investigating.

Initial attack on the fire was complicated by a long, narrow driveway and difficulty getting water to the fire, Smith said. Lebanon Fire District sent two water tenders, and Brownsville Fire Department sent an engine. Twenty firefighters from Sweet Home responded with an engine and three tenders because of the water issue.

The roof had already collapsed by the time the fire was reported, Smith said. No one being there, the fire was further along than it normally would be by the time firefighters arrived.

The fire department estimated damage at approximately $750,000 for the structure and contents.

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