A fire that destroyed a home in the Cloverdale area east of Sisters late Sunday night, but a family of four escaped in their pajamas into the snow and sub-freezing temperatures, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said.
Deputies and Cloverdale Rural Fire District crews were dispatched around 11 p.m. to the reported structure fire in the 69000 block of Hinkle Butte Drive, in the Panoramic View Estates subdivision, sheriff's Sgt. Kent Vander Kamp said.
The homeowners said they'd heard noises in the bedroom area of the home before finding smoke and flames inside their two children's bedroom, Vander Kamp said.
The homeowners pulled their children to safety before trying to put out the fire with a household fire extinguisher, to no avail, so the family fled the home wearing only pajamas as the flames spread to the kitchen area.
One of the homeowners was treated and released at the scene for non-life threatening injuries as a result of the fire, he said.
Sheriff's deputies arrived to find the house fully involved and cared for the family members until fire crews arrived.
Cloverdale Fire was assisted by crews from the Sisters-Camp Sherman, Black Butte Ranch and Crooked River Ranch rural fire districts, Vander Kamp said. Bend and Redmond fire departments provided fire and medical coverage in the various districts while crews worked into early Monday morning in sub-freezing conditions to knock down the blaze and investigate the cause.
The house and its contents were a total loss, Vander Kamp said, with an estimated value of $110,000.
"The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office, although it is believed to be accidental," Vander Kamp said in a news release.
Vander Kamp said the two children were sleeping in bunk beds and their clothing, hanging on a coat rack, was on fire when parents entered the room. He said the source of ignition had been narrowed down to a couple of things in the bedroom.
A fire district official said there was a portable electric heater in the kids' bedroom and no smoke detectors in that room.
Sheriff's deputies collected children's clothing from their families in Sisters, handmade quilts donated by the Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild, and stuffed animals for the displaced children. The American Red Cross was also on scene to provide additional resources to the family.
The homeowner's pet cats were believed to be trapped in the house during the fire. However, a deputy found one of the cats in the neighborhood. A second pet cat had not been located yet.
The Red Cross said it sent disaster responders to help the family, which includes two adults, two children and four pets. They provided resources to help meet the immediate needs of those affected, such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits and information about recovery and health services.
Vander Kamp said the sheriff's office and firefighters want to remind everyone to install and regularly inspect smoke detectors inside bedrooms.
Besides regularly replacing batteries and testing the smoke alarms, most alarms should be replaced after 10 years from their manufacture date, which can be found on the back of the alarm.
If you don't have working smoke alarms in your home, complimentary installation resources can be found by contacting your local fire agency or the American Red Cross (541-749-4144).