Investigators say a careless outdoor burn sparked a fire that destroyed two homes, and left five people homeless...
The fire broke out shortly before 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night on Cortez Street in the Stewart-Lenox area of Klamath Falls.
Brandy Rockolt says the fire grew quickly. "I came outside and you could just see up-roaring in the backyard."
The fire quickly spread, destroying 2 homes, at least 3 travel trailers, 2 cars, and several outbuildings.
The fire was punctuated by loud explosions...
"There was a lot of ammunition inside the first home." Explains Fire Marshal Scott Rice of Klamath County Fire District #1. "It was going off, and in the storage buildings."
Jim Yahne had most of his belongings stored in a shed that burned...
"I had some camping equipment, some personal belongings in a shed - but mostly what I've had to do is watch neighbors who didn't really have anything, older folks that had houses, and didn't really have much to lose everything."
Betty and Jerald Givens lost their home in the fire.
"Homeless." States Sandy Hubbard, a relative of the Givens'. "They're living with family. Grandpa was released from the hospital early this morning, and they're going to be staying with family until they can get things squared away."
Investigators believe the fire may have been sparked by someone burning insulation off of copper wire, in order to sell the raw metal.
"That's what we're finding." Notes Fire Marshal Rice. "And we do have one statement to that effect."
Firefighters remained on scene today to mop up the fire, and put out hot spots.
Investigators estimate the fire caused about 400 thousand dollars worth of damage.
The Keno Grill in Stewart-Lenox will be offering a portion of their sales to help families impacted by the fire.