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Mobile home, motorhome lost in Butte Falls fire Friday

BUTTE FALLS — A fire destroyed a mobile home and a motorhome early Friday, according to Butte Falls Fire & Rescue Chief Jeff Gorman.

No people were hurt, but several kittens that resided at the burned structure died, Gorman said.

Six firefighters and three engines responded to the fire, at 503 Oak Ave., just after 2 a.m. It was originally reported as a vehicle fire but was quickly upgraded to a structure fire, Gorman said.

Gorman said he arrived shortly after the first engine and reported the home was fully involved.

“It was probably 60-foot flames,” Gorman said, adding the older-model motorhome caught fire before spreading to the home nearby.

The blaze also caused some heat damage to a neighbor’s home, which had to be evacuated during firefighting efforts. That home’s sole occupant made it out safely. The mobile home’s two occupants also exited the structure without injury.

Firefighters temporarily closed portions of Oak Avenue and South Street while firefighters were on scene. Both the home and motorhome are considered total losses. One firefighter sustained a “mild heat burn,” Gorman said, but they are otherwise OK.

How the fire started had not been determined as of Friday afternoon, and Gorman said he didn’t know whether a cause will ever be established.

“Things were just so severely burned,” he said.

An explosion, reportedly heard prior to the fire, is also being investigated.

The property had been one of several Butte Falls city officials were looking at for fuels-reduction work, Gorman said. It’s part of their efforts to become a Firewise community, one that has “taken appropriate measures to become more resistant to wildfire structural damage,” according to the National Fire Protection Association website.

“We have three or four left in the community that we’d like to get cleaned up,” Gorman said. “But this is a really good example of what could happen.”

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.