Arson investigated as house fire cause
Arson was determined to be the cause of a fire that engulfed an abandoned house at 179 SE D St., in Madras, on Friday, Aug. 18.
Jefferson County Fire District Capt. Kasey Skaar said they received the call on the fire at 4:03 p.m. Madras streets near the area had been barricaded off in preparation for the crowds expected to be arriving for the eclipse, and fire engines had to drive around them.
"Actually we had a pretty quick response and were out the door within seconds," Skaar said. "We also had resources out on patrol that were able to get there pretty quick," he added.
When they arrived, the structure was 70 percent involved in flames and homes on each side were threatened due to the fire spreading in tall dry grass.
Oregon State Police investigated the cause of the fire, and decided that it was caused by arson. Two 12-year-old boys were arrested and released Aug. 20, in connection with the fire. Their names were not released.
Firefighters were able to douse the flames and protect the neighboring houses.
Responding crews included two fire engines, one fire truck, two command vehicles, 12 volunteer and four staff firefighters, along with medics. No one was injured in the fire.