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MailTribune.com
  • Oak Knoll Firefight: One home, one chance to stop advancing blaze

  • With several houses already engulfed in flames on Oak Knoll Drive, Ashland Fire & Rescue Chief John Karns drove down the street in his Ford Explorer, searching for a house where firefighters might have a chance of stopping the blaze.
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  • With several houses already engulfed in flames on Oak Knoll Drive, Ashland Fire & Rescue Chief John Karns drove down the street in his Ford Explorer, searching for a house where firefighters might have a chance of stopping the blaze.
    There was only one fire engine, staffed by two firefighters, on the scene battling the quickly advancing fire, although helicopters were beginning to make water drops.
    Other firefighters from Ashland and the rest of the Rogue Valley were busy on Washington Street, on the other side of Interstate 5, where the Aug. 24 fire started, and on Clover Lane, where the fire had spotted across the freeway before the wind spread flames and embers to Oak Knoll Drive.
    Karns found his target — a home at 979 Oak Knoll Drive with a flat, fire-resistant roof.
    "I picked my line in the sand," Karns said.
    But he still wasn't sure whether help would arrive in time to try and cut off the advance of the fire.
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