ENTERPRISE — A propane barbecue grill that got out of control while the homeowner snoozed was the cause of a housefire Friday, June 11, Enterprise Fire Chief Paul Karvoski said.
The chief said Richard Griffith was warming up his barbecue and fell asleep.
“The next thing he knew, it was up into the third floor,” he said. “(It caused a) lot of damage.”
The “third floor” Karvoski spoke of was actually the second floor on the street side. The house is built into a hillside and also has a daylight basement, he said.
No one was injured.
“His wife woke him up and said, the house is on fire,” Karvoski said of Reta Griffith.
Enterprise Police Chief Kevin McQuead said the fire was called in at 5:03 p.m.
Karvoski said two engines, a ladder truck and a rescue vehicle were sent from the Enterprise Fire Department. He said the Joseph Fire Department assisted with an engine and a rescue vehicle. A total of 18 firefighters were on the scene, as were two EPD officers and a Wallowa County sheriff’s deputy.
Karvoski said it appears the house may be reparable, although it suffered considerable water and smoke damage.
“What the fire didn’t get the water got,” he said.
McQuead said when he arrived, they had to get keys for the Griffiths’ vehicles from the house to move the vehicles both to protect them and to make room for the fire vehicles.
“We had to get keys out of the house to try to move vehicles,” McQuead said. “It was smoky … and hard to see anything.”
Karvoski said the Red Cross was alerted and helped provide accommodations for the Griffiths in the wake of losing their home.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct a name misspelling.