Police believe a 51-year-old man may have stabbed his wife and four children before setting his west Medford home on fire this morning. The woman and children are dead but the man, who suffered smoke inhalation, is expected to survive, police said.
Police have not released the names of the wife, 30, and children, three boys, ages 5, 6 and 7, and a 2-year-old girl, pending notification of next of kin. The victims were found when firefighters responded to a report of smoke at the home, at 1027 W. 10th St., at about 9:30 this morning. Responders tried for 45 minutes to resuscitate some of the victims. They were pronounced dead at the hospital.
“It's an extremely tragic situation,” said Jackson County District Attorney Mark Huddleston. He said autopsies will be performed on the victims this week, but they are believed to have died from stab wounds and smoke inhalation.
Police said they received a call at 5:30 a.m. reporting the 30-year-old woman missing. They found her nearby at 10th Street and Oakdale Avenue and returned her to the home at 7:45 a.m., they said. Police Chief Tim George said they were checking to see whether officers had responded to reports of domestic violence at the home.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
-- Damian Mann