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A Union house is engulfed in flames Friday morning. Officials said findings indicate the fire started in an electrical outlet in the home’s washroom. (Chris Baxter/The Observer)
UNION — A family was displaced after the home they were living in was destroyed by fire Friday morning.
Around 10 a.m., crews were called to 860 S. First St. in Union where a home was fully engulfed in flames. Smoke from the blaze could be seen from Interstate 84.
Incident Commander Larry Wooldridge, chief of the La Grande Rural Fire Department, said the home was a complete loss.
Union Fire Chief Keith Montgomery said the fire marshall findings indicate the fire started in an electrical outlet in the home’s washroom.
No one was in the home when the fire started, officials said. A teenage son was across the street at a neighbors when they saw smoke. Wooldridge said the son was only gone about 10 or 15 minutes.
Owner Mike Rickert said his niece, Angie Horton, was living in the home with her husband, Craig, and their children. The Hortons had lived there about a year and a half.
Rickert had just finished up some work on the house and was preparing to sell it to the family, he said. A new roof was put on the house after Union’s bad hailstorm this summer.
“It was a nice home,” Rickert said. “I hate to see them lose it.”
The family’s dog was unaccounted for Friday, Rickert said. Otherwise, though, he said things can be replaced.
Volunteers from the Red Cross Cascades Region responded to the fire, providing shoes, seasonal garments and information on health and mental health services.
Union Fire was assisted by North Powder, La Grande Rural and Cove fire departments. About 18 firefighters assisted in putting out the blaze.