Tuesday fires keep crews busyMail Tribune, Medford, Ore. — Nick Morgan and Ryan Pfeil Mail Tribune, Medford, Ore.
March 13--Despite steady rain Tuesday, structure fires in Medford and Central Point kept local firefighters busy.
Jackson County Fire District 3 and Medford Fire-Rescue battled a fire that extensively damaged an abandoned house outside Central Point early in the afternoon, just hours after they extinguished a shop fire off Table Rock Road.
No one was inside the vacant house in the 3400 block of Corey Road when a neighbor spotted the fire at 11:57 a.m., according to District 3 spokeswoman Ashley Blakely. By the time crews arrived minutes later, flames were coming out of the doors and windows of the house.
Fire officials briefly called a second alarm, drawing extra resources to the scene, but canceled it after crews found no one inside the one-story house, according to Blakely. The fire was knocked down by 12:45 p.m., and a fire investigator was called to the scene. Blakely said it was too soon to point to a cause of the fire, and she hadn't heard of any reports of transient activity at the house.
Earlier Tuesday, a two-alarm fire in a backyard shop behind a house drew seven engines to the 3000 block of Table Rock Road, temporarily shutting down part of the thoroughfare.
That fire was reported at 6:03 a.m. Firefighters arrived to see the shop engulfed in flames, and the fire had spread to the nearby house. Three occupants of the home made it out safely.
"The crews started attacking the shop right away and then did a primary search inside," Blakely said. "(We) upgraded to a second alarm pretty shortly after the first unit arrived, which was Medford."
Calling for a second alarm had to do with several factors, Blakely said.
"The fact that it was an outbuilding that was spreading to a structure," she said. "And then there were obviously things in very close proximity to it."
Crews kept the flames from spreading to other properties.
Table Rock Road was closed between Morningside Street and Airport Road while firefighters fought the blaze, forcing dozens of northbound vehicles to turn around. Firefighters spent about 52 minutes extinguishing the blaze, Blakely said.
The caller who reported the fire was a construction worker who said he had heard an explosion, according to information on Fire District 3's Facebook page. The fire destroyed the shop and caused damage to the rear of the house.
The cause of that fire also is under investigation.
-- Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.
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