Investigators determine refrigerator started fire that destroyed Lebanon home

Image: Lebanon Fire District

Investigators have determined a refrigerator started a fire that destroyed a Lebanon home and caused the death of a dog.

Crews responded to the 1200 block of Cascade Drive at 1:58 p.m. Monday.

Firefighters said a man woke up to a strange smell and when he opened his bedroom door, he saw the hallway filled with thick black smoke.

The man was able to escape, along with his daughter and her infant son. The man was taken to the hospital with burns and smoke inhalation. There were no reports of injuries involving the woman or the child.

Firefighters said the family’s pet dog died from the smoke.

Investigators said evidence showed the fire started in the back of a refrigerator near the motor and compressor. The fire spread up the wall to cabinets and a nearby table.

The fire quickly consumed the room and caused a nearby sliding glass door to fail, introducing more oxygen and intensifying the fire, according to firefighters.

The Lebanon Fire District credited the man’s bedroom door being closed with saving his life, because it prevented deadly smoke and toxic gasses from entering his room while he slept.

“House fire fatalities rarely occur from burns but are almost always a result of asphyxiation and smoke inhalation. Just one breath of super-heated smoke and gasses can lead to unconsciousness and ultimately death. It is also recommended to periodically clean the dust and grease build up from kitchen appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, and ranges,” according to the Lebanon Fire District.

For a free home and life safety evaluation in the Lebanon area, call 541-451-1901.

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