Fire destroyed the Mosier home of Gordon Withrow, on Rock Creek Road, on Thursday.
"It got everything," said Withrow, who lived in the house for 15 years.
Withrow said faulty wiring may be the cause of the fire in the 110-year-old two-story house.
Mosier Fire Chief Jim Appleton said that could be the case, or overloaded extension cord or other reason.
"Everything was destroyed, so we'll never know," he said.
Mosier was assisted by Pine Grove and Oregon Department of Forestry. A Mosier firefighter was treated at the scene for dehydration.
Withrow, a retiree who lives alone, was cutting wood on the hillside nearby when he saw flames coming out of the windows.
The fire had cut electrical power, so he could not use his pump-powered well to try to fight it.
"I tried to go in, but the flames were too much. I got out with singed eyebrows," Withrow said. He is currently camped on the property, sleeping in a small borrowed trailer. With his limited savings he is hoping to find a larger used trailer to live in.
"Friends and neighbors have been great, helping me out with small things and meals," Withrow said.
A fund has been set up on Withrow's behalf at Bank of America.