PENDLETON, Ore. - An 18-year-old is dead after suffering severe burns when a fire broke out in the side yard of a home on S.W. 19th Street Monday morning.
A woman who lives nearby said she is too worried about the circumstances of the case to be named, but told Action News her young son was playing outside when he saw someone was in the fire. He immediately called for help and his mom and sister called 911.
Officials said Pendleton Police were the first to arrive on scene. The Pendleton Fire Department responded to the fire around 9:50 a.m. Monday in the yard of the home.
“Crews did find a small fire, and ensuing investigation proved that there was an 18-year-old victim. He was treated on the scene for burns and transported to St. Anthony’s Medical Center for further evaluation," said Shawn Penninger, fire marshal for Pendleton Fire and Ambulance.
Police said the 18-year-old suffered severe burns and he later died of his injuries.
The Pendleton Police Department in cooperation with the Oregon State Arson Unit and the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office are investigating the bizarre case to determine what happened. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to officials.
Penninger said due to the sensitivity to the case the fire department and the police will not be releasing any further information at this time.
"We want to maintain that we are respectful to both the family and to the citizens," Penninger said. "And that it was released earlier by the police chief that we believe that there is no further threat to the community.”
*This story will be updated as more information becomes available.