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Charcoal cause of Vida Cafe blaze?

McKenzie River Reflections of McKenzie Bridge, Oregon

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VIDA: A deputy State Fire Marshall, along with two McKenzie Fire & Rescue staff, spent several hours last week sifting through fire-damaged sections of the Vida Cafe. Unfortunately, they were unable to narrow down what caused the landmark structure to burn around 4:30 a.m. on October 24th. When the fire was reported, the caller had observed flames coming from the rear of the structure.

New information, however, might help investigators learn more about what happened. Two days after the fire, a woman called the Lane County Sheriff's Office to report what she had seen prior to the blaze. According to Sheriff's Office reports, the woman said that on Saturday night or Sunday morning, there were some illegal campers in the area. She reported seeing them barbecuing right next to the Vida Cafe, and believes the campers put ashes from their BBQ in the dumpsters, causing the fire. The caller also said she could not identify anyone.

According to McKenzie Fire Chief Darren Bucich, the woman's criminal information report to LCSO hadn't been forwarded to him. However, after learning of its existence, he has passed the information on to the State Fire Marshall's Office.

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Original Publication Date: November 5, 2015

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