Up to 70 firefighters responded to an early-afternoon fire Thursday that gutted a house, burned vehicles and charred trees in the 32000 block of Fox Hollow Road, northeast of Spencer Butte.
No one was injured in the fire, but Eugene Springfield Fire Battalion Chief Scott Bishop said that in addition to the main structure, two or three smaller structures that resembled buses or motor homes also caught fire.
When firefighters arrived, several trees in the area were burning.
"Ponderosa pines and Douglas firs that are 120 feet tall are burnt at the top," Bishop said.
Bishop said a 500-gallon gasoline tank may have exploded, but whether the tank was the cause of the fire was unknown.
When 20 emergency vehicles initially arrived, the main structure was engulfed in flames, so firefighters focused on limiting the spread of the fire. A state Department of Forestry helicopter dropped water onto spot fires more visible from the air.
Surrounding roads between Fox Hollow Road and Christiansen Road were closed to traffic, Bishop said, with the potential of crews remaining into this morning.
Nearby resident Kathy Smith said she heard several explosions during the fire and saw black smoke billowing from the scene.
Smith said while she wasn't too concerned about the fire spreading, she knew it was a possibility. She said officers warned her to pack a small bag in case she had to evacuate.
"The firefighters' presence was very reassuring," Smith said. "It was a good reminder to have a 'go bag' ready with important, irreplaceable things easily accessible."
Four to five houses south of the fire were temporarily evacuated as a precaution, Eugene police said.
Volunteers at the Cascades Raptor Center were executing their evacuation plan in case the fire blew in their direction. With over 80 birds on site, 30 volunteers began collecting important items and organizing carrier crates for the birds if an evacuation was necessary.
"Some of our volunteers got permission to get off work to come and help out," said Kit Lacy, educational director for the center. "Our birds are used to a lot of action, but luckily the smoke was not pouring over to our site."
Lacy said the implementation of an emergency plan helped keep volunteers, visitors and the birds calm throughout the fire.
The burned house was a 1,066 square foot structure built in 1950 on three acres according to Lane County property records. The property is about 1,000 feet south of the intersection of Donald Street and Fox Hollow Road.
Ten engines, four trucks, two brush trucks, three chiefs and medics responded, dispatch logs show.
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