Two houses destroyed in separate fires Friday night in Lebanon were found to have no working smoke detectors, according to an investigation by Lebanon Fire Marshal Jason Bolen.
On Jan. 24, the Lebanon Fire Department received calls for two structure fires within five hours of each other.
The first, in the 30000 block of Fairview Road, came in around 5:30 p.m. According to a Lebanon Fire District statement, both occupants were able to escape, but the house was fully engulfed by the time crews arrived. An investigation revealed that a wood stove pipe had been improperly installed and came in direct contact with a piece of wood framing.
"The constant heat exposure caused pyrolysis of the wood which eventually ignited and spread into the interior wall space, eventually spreading throughout the entire home," the statement read.
A partial collapse of the house's second floor prevented crews from entering and forced them to use existing openings to fully extinguish the fire. The home was deemed a complete loss.
At around 10 p.m., crews responded to a second fire call, this one in the 170 block of Hobbs Street. Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and flames from a residence at the rear of the multi-family property. Because the Lebanon crew's resources were depleted from the first fire, the incident commander upgraded the call to a second-alarm, summoning additional resources from Albany, Brownsville and Sweet Home.
The fire posed a threat to a three-bay shop connected to the home, but crews were able to keep it contained to the one structure. Both occupants escaped unarmed. The cause of the fire was not able to be determined due to damage, but it was determined to have originated in a rear bedroom.
Fire Marshal Jason Bolen said that not only should smoke alarms be present in every home, but homeowners must also be sure they're in the proper locations and checked regularly.
“We recommend a smoke alarm in every bedroom, one outside of the bedroom areas, and at least one on each level of a home.” he said. “And if your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, it needs to be replaced.”
The Lebanon Fire Department can assist residents living within the fire district's boundaries who are in need of smoke detectors. To date, the department has provided nearly 850 smoke alarms in Lebanon.
For more information, contact the Lebanon Fire Department at 541-451-1901.