A home in Bear Valley was completely destroyed in an early morning fire Sept. 19.
Gregg Haberly said his father Byron Haberly and Byron’s wife, Linda, were in bed in the modular house when the fire occurred. He said Linda smelled smoke and asked Byron if he had made a fire.
Byron went into the kitchen and saw a wall on fire, Gregg said. Byron tried to put out the fire using a mop bucket and the kitchen sink, but there wasn’t enough water pressure to fill the bucket.
When Byron opened a window to relieve the smoke, the fire blew up and got into the ceiling and roof. Byron and Linda got out of the house but had to drive to another home to make a 911 call for assistance.
Byron, who owns Byron’s Septic Service and Byron’s Excavating, suffered mild injuries from smoke inhalation but was going about his normal errands the next day. He and his wife were unable to remove belongings, and the home was a total loss, Gregg said.
The John Day Emergency Communications Center received a 911 emergency call reporting the fire at 11:42 p.m. on Sept. 18, according to Dispatch Manager Valerie Maynard.
A log entry with the John Day Interagency Dispatch Center at 12:25 a.m. reported a grass and brush fire about three-tenths of an acre in size.
ODF responded with two engines, but the home was engulfed in fire by the time firefighters arrived, Oregon Department of Forestry Unit Forester Ryan Miller told the Eagle.
Two private water tenders from nearby ranches were already on the scene to assist with the suppression effort and had stopped most of the wildfire from spreading and causing a forest fire. ODF later sent a water tender to assist with the suppression effort.
ODF firefighters remained on scene overnight to prevent the wildfire from spreading any further, Miller said. The burned area was estimated to be one-third to half an acre, he said. No firefighters were injured.
The John Day Rural Fire Department also responded to the fire, and Fire Chief Ron Smith was at the scene the next morning. A state fire marshal also was expected to arrive at the scene, Miller said.