By Laurelle Walsh
The occupants of a Winthrop-area home walked away unhurt, but their home is in ruins after a devastating fire over the weekend.
Fred and Melody Beavon were woken in the middle of the night on Saturday (May 20) by the light of flames from the blazing adjacent garage. “It was brighter than daylight outside the window,” Melody said.
“It jumped to the house and was moving so fast,” she recalls. “Fred and I started trying to grab some stuff, but when the windows blew in I said, ‘Come on, let’s get out.’”
“Basically, we got out with the clothes on our back.”
Engines from the Winthrop, Twisp and Mazama stations responded to a structure fire on Blackbird Road around 1 a.m., according to District 6 Fire Chief Cody Acord. By the time the first trucks arrived on the scene, the buildings were fully engulfed. “It was already so far gone there was nothing we could do,” Acord said.
Acord said there would be no further investigation into the fire’s cause as there is “nothing left” of the structures to investigate. A detached shop building survived the fire relatively unscathed.
The Beavons believe the fire started in the garage and spread to an attached apartment before jumping to the house. Tenant Jennifer Zajac was out of town at the time of the fire.
“There are so many things being thrown at us right now, but we’re doing fine,” Melody said. “We’re overwhelmed, but we’re not freaking out about it. It’s just stuff.”
The one loss that has shaken her is the death of her two cats, who were in the garage. “Losing my beautiful cats is the only hard thing,” she said.
The Beavons are staying with friends temporarily. An online fundraiser has been set up for them at www.gofundme.com/melody-and-fred-beavon-relief-fund. “We’ve been honored by the outpouring of generosity from people in the valley,” Melody said.