Jessica Prokop

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March 16, 2014
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Breaking news: Roseburg furniture store goes up in flames

A Roseburg furniture store on Northeast Stephens Street was engulfed in flames Sunday evening.

Reports came in shortly after 5 p.m. that smoke was seen coming from Kuebler’s Furniture, 1100 N.E. Stephens St., Roseburg Fire Marshal Tony DiMare said. A section of Northeast Stephens Street in front of the store was closed while fire crews battled the blaze.

About 26 firefighters from the Roseburg Fire Department and Douglas County Fire District No. 2 were on scene Sunday.

Fire crews were using two engines and a ladder truck to extinguish the flames. DiMare said they had been pumping 7,000 gallons of water a minute for about two hours on the flames.

Firefighters were able to save two furniture trucks and a van, he said.

DiMare said two store employees and a child closed and left the store shortly before 5 p.m.

An employee who returned to the scene told firefighters that there was no sign of fire when everyone left for the day. The employee said they had made coffee earlier in the day but remembered turning the coffee maker off before leaving.

DiMare said people first reported seeing the fire in what appears to be the store’s kitchen area.

Kuebler’s Furniture was founded by Dean Kuebler of Redding, Calif. He turned the company over to his children in 2007. Kuebler has stores in Redding, Roseburg and Salem.

Efforts to reach a store manager were unsuccessful today.

DiMare said it was unknown at the time if all the contents of the building were destroyed.

“I’m guessing nothing inside is salvageable,” DiMare said. “That’s a lot of fire and a lot of water. It’s a pretty substantial fire.”

The roof eventually collapsed, but most of the building’s exterior was still intact, DiMare said.

The structure was valued at nearly $546,000, according to the Douglas County Assessor’s website.

More than 100 people watched the fire on all sides, many with phones or cameras to their faces.

“I don’t know who owns that store, but I’m praying for those people,” said Karla Smith, who lives nearby.

As firefighters cleared a path for a tow truck, a fire hose hit a firefighter in the leg. He was assisted to a chair and a Fire District 2 ambulance took him to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg to be evaluated.

Israel Ortiz, who lives nearby, witnessed the accident.

“It looked like it broke his leg,” Ortiz said. “They shut the hose off and it was spinning around real fast. It was moving like a snake.”

DiMare declined to name the firefighter or the nature of his injury.

The fire knocked out power to the surrounding area, including traffic signals on Garden Valley Boulevard. Pacific Power was on scene addressing the issue.

George Huntington, who watched the fire from his front porch across the street, said he lost electricity about 40 minutes after firetrucks arrived.

“They had just closed for the day. It’s a shame. It’s a good business,” Huntington said.

DiMare said fire crews would be on scene for several more hours extinguishing the flames and cleaning up. He said the fire department would likely begin an investigation into the cause of the fire in the morning.

The Roseburg Fire Department and Fire District 2 were also assisted by the Roseburg Police Department and Avista Utilities.

• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and Reporter Garrett Andrews contributed to this report.

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The News-Review Updated Mar 18, 2014 01:54PM Published Mar 17, 2014 11:58AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.