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House fire caused by wood burner

A firefighter walks away from the home.
A firefighter walks away from the home.

By Vinde Wells


A faulty wood burning stove apparently caused a fire that destroyed a rural Oregon home in February.

“Failure of a wood burner caused the fire,” Oregon Fire Chief Don Heller said Tuesday.

The fire started in the basement of Greg Wessman’s home in the 3,000 block of North Blackhawk Road Feb. 12 and quickly destroyed the structure despite the efforts of firefighters from Oregon and seven other fire departments.

Wessman and his infant grandson escaped from the home uninjured.

The cause of the fire that destroyed Whiskey’s River restaurant in Oregon March 16 remains under investigation, Heller said.

“I haven’t hear back yet from the state fire marshal’s office,” he said.

The fire was ruled accidental, but the exact cause has not yet been pinpointed.

Heller said earlier that it appears to have started in the basement.

The building’s owner Kevin Wedel, who lived in the upstairs apartment, was not at home when the fire occurred.

Two investigators from the OSFM and a dog went through the inside of the burned-out restaurant March 17.

The restaurant, which has been closed for some time, is located near the Oregon Fire Station.

Heller said a jogger saw smoke coming from the structure and flagged down an on-duty Oregon policeman who alerted the fire department.

Oregon firefighters were assisted at the scene by the Mt. Morris, Polo, Byron, Stillman Valley, Franklin Grove, Dixon City, and Dixon Rural Fire Departments and the Oregon Ambulance.

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