Dog alerts owner of house fire
A dog alerted its owner to a fire that destroyed a two-story log home on Lords Place in Crooked River Ranch Monday, June 7.
"My dog woke me up, and she saved my life, and my other two dogs pushed me along to the back door because I couldn't see anything at that point. After my front window exploded, and I realized it was on fire, it filled with smoke so fast," said Robin Whitaker, who lost everything in the early morning fire.
Thankfully, her children, ages 11, 12 and 13, were not there the night of the fire.
Now, Whitaker is looking for an RV or trailer to purchase and live in temporarily. Her children are staying with their father. A friend set up an online GoFundMe fundraising site, named "Robin lost her home along with everything in it."
"We've had so many people come through and help us. It's been absolutely amazing," said Whitaker, who owns the dog grooming business Shed Happens in Madras.
A Crooked River Ranch Fire and Rescue media release reports being called to the fire at 2:06 a.m. The first arriving unit found the home fully involved in fire with fire spreading to a neighboring fence. A defensive fire attack was performed to protect exposures, which included the neighbor's fence, multiple vehicles and a shop. Water tenders were used to supply water for fighting the fire. Multiple crews remained on-scene for several hours performing overhaul and mop-up.
Redmond Fire and Rescue, Cloverdale Fire District, and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office provided mutual aid.
Whitaker's three dogs survived the fire, but her cats did not.
The home is considered a total loss with an estimated value of $207,560. A value has not been determined for the contents of the structure. Whitaker did not have insurance. The home was passed down by family that had passed, and legally, she could not put insurance on the home because she was in the process of getting the title.
Whitaker said she and the investigators believe it was an electrical fire with the source being a power strip on the outside of the house that operated the driveway lights.
"A power strip was held down by some really big staples from back in the day, so they were assuming that the staples had worn through the wire and sparked," Whitaker said.
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