A fire that likely started in an attached woodshed severely damaged the home of 84-year-old Merel Hawkins on Bear Creek Road southwest of Wallowa on Tuesday afternoon, April 13.
Firefighters from Wallowa, Lostine, Enterprise and Joseph responded along with Oregon Department of Forestry fire crews.
The house was a total loss, said Merel Hawkins’ daughter, Mary Hawkins, on Saturday.
“The fire looked like it started in the woodshed,” she said. “It spread really fast.”
Merel Hawkins was shaken, but unhurt and consoled by family, friends and neighbors at the scene. His caregiver, Michaela Shane, had taken the wheelchair-bound family patriarch and former packer out the front door to safety promptly at the first sign of smoke before the fire spread. The property includes the Hawkins Sisters Chicken Ranch, where several sparks landed.