Barn fire blamed on man with lighter.
A Christmas Day fire that destroyed a barn off Lorane Highway southwest of Eugene was sparked accidentally after a young man ignited a lighter inside a "hay fort" that had been built in the structure, fire officials said Thursday.
The barn fire at 85869 Bailey Hill Road caused an estimated $80,000 in damage, said Dean Chappell, fire marshal for the Lane Fire Authority.
The man responsible for the blaze had flicked on a lighter in order to see while inside a fort made of hay bales that he and at least one other person had set up in the barn, Chappell said.
The bales caught fire, and flames then spread to the rest of the barn.
Firefighters learned of the incident at 3:45 p.m. They arrived at the rural property quickly enough to prevent the fire from damaging adjacent buildings on the property.
"They came just in time to save the other (barn)," property owner Carol Voze said Thursday.
No one was injured in the fire. Voze said all of her cattle and chickens - as well as a dog that was in the barn - were moved to safety after the fire started. She added that her challenge in the near future will be finding hay for the cows, because everything inside the barn was lost in the blaze.
"It's pretty devastating," Voze said.
Voze declined to identify the people who had been in the barn when the fire started, but said that "they are very remorseful."
"Accidents do happen," Voze said.