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Local family loses home to flames

Caller reported seeing smoke after power was restored to area

LEABURG: The ice storm that cut power and heat from thousands of households last week had a more tragic outcome for a Leaburg family. The fire at 43045 McKenzie Highway destroyed the home of Rich Campbell and Casey Chafin, their son, and daughter.

“We hadn’t had power for six days because of the ice storm, and we heard it would not be on for two more weeks,” Casey said. “So we packed up and went to Lebanon to my grandma’s for a few days because my son is autistic.”

That soon changed the next morning when she said they got “1 million phone calls and texts from people saying ‘your house is on fire. Your house is on fire.’”

Even though they hurried back, the fire had ravaged the structure. “The firemen said that 20 minutes after the power was turned back on our house was on fire,” Casey recalls.

Crews responded immediately and found smoke billowing from the home. In addition to the McKenzie Fire & Rescue crews, Mohawk Valley Rural Fire District sent an engine, and Eugene-Springfield sent two engines and a Battalion Chief.

McKenzie Fire & Rescue’s response to the incident included 12 apparatus and 26 members. The Red Cross was called to assist the homeowners. Crews returned to the scene at periodic intervals to ensure there were no flare-ups. The Oregon State Fire Marshals Office is investigating.

A GoFundMe page at had raised $4,636 by noon on Tuesday. Contributions of clothing, bedding, and various household items are also being gathered and can be dropped off at the Leaburg Store, where their daughter Paris was an employee.


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