GERVAIS, Ore. – A man who died in an RV fire near Gervais had been trying to extinguish the blaze when he was overcome by smoke and flames, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Firefighters were called to a farm in the 9300 block of Mt. Angel Gervais Road at 6:30 a.m. Thursday and found the man's body after they extinguished the fire, according to Lt. Chris Baldridge with the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Baldridge said Monday the man was apparently looking for a place to park his RV and sleep when the RV struck a barn on the property.
"When the male exited his vehicle to see what he could do to become unstuck, the RV caught fire," Baldridge said. "Detectives believe the male reentered the RV to fight the fire and was overcome."
His identity has not been released.
The homeowner, Merrie Loboy, and her tenant told detectives the RV had appeared sometime during the night, and they had no idea who it belonged to or who was inside.
“This is pretty rural farm country. This is kind of in the middle of nowhere if you will, so it is definitely not common for someone to come down this driveway,” said Baldridge.
Loboy said her tenant woke up at around 5:15 a.m. Thursday and saw what looked like lights near the barn.
“When he came out then he saw the flames. So he tried to call 911 and the call would not go through. So he got a hose and started hosing down the motor home,” said Loboy.
But that hose broke, so she said he ran to get a different hose.
“When he came back the flames were so tall, that they burnt out the wiring to the pump and then he couldn't control the fire at all,” she said.
The sheriff's office released video of the investigation.