JEFFERSON, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The adult son of an 81-year-old man who died in a house fire in Jefferson has been arrested and charged with manslaughter.
Candido Duran died in the blaze that swept through his duplex at 15102-15104 Jefferson Hwy 99E just before 3 a.m. Wednesday, authorities said.
His son, John Duran, 36, escaped the fire, as did a renter and her grandchildren.
Investigators charged John Duran with second-degree manslaughter, reckless burning and recklessly endangering another.
The fire discovered
The renter, Johanna Velek, was asleep on the couch when she was awakened by the smoke alarm. She ran down the hall and tried to get her grandchildren and the others out of the house, but a locked door between the duplexes stopped her from getting everyone.
When she heard loud popping sounds, she grabbed her grandchildren, 7 and 6, and left through the back door. A neighbor told her 911 had already been called and help was on the way.
Velek then saw John Duran, who said Candido Duran was still inside the house.
It took firefighters more than an hour to bring the blaze under control. The cause of the fire has not yet been revealed, but investigators said Candido Duran died from injuries sustained in the blaze.
Those who left the house ran out in their pajamas, without shoes. Velek does not have renter’s insurance and is currently staying with her son.
The grandchildren’s kittens did not leave the house with them and have not yet been found.
Donations – either cash or clothing – to help the Veleks can be made at either the Jefferson Fire Station, 189 N. Main Street, the Jefferson Baptist Church or the Jefferson Methodist Church.