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MailTribune.com
  • Talent family escapes blaze

    Smoke detectors credited with helping to prevent possible tragedy; neighbors will hold yard sales to raise funds
  • TALENT — A fire that broke out at 5:45 a.m. Monday at 106 Foss Road in Talent left the home severely damaged after firefighters spent 20 minutes trying to extinguish the blaze.
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    • How to help
      Foss Road residents will host several yard sales from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16, with proceeds benefiting the Knudson family. Attendees can park in the nearby Talent Middle ...
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      How to help
      Foss Road residents will host several yard sales from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 15-16, with proceeds benefiting the Knudson family. Attendees can park in the nearby Talent Middle School parking lot.
  • TALENT — A fire that broke out at 5:45 a.m. Monday at 106 Foss Road in Talent left the home severely damaged after firefighters spent 20 minutes trying to extinguish the blaze.
    Douglas Knudson was in the shower when he heard his wife screaming and the fire alarm going off. He and his wife and son, who is in seventh grade, ran outside, escaping the blaze safely.
    "You always have a plan, but when it's happening, man, you are disoriented," Knudson said.
    Crews from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 responded to see flames and thick smoke pouring off the home's front end. Additional crews from Medford Fire-Rescue and Ashland Fire & Rescue responded. Six fire trucks were on the scene, along with about 20 firefighters, said District 5 Chief Dan Marshall.
    "It was heavy smoke and fire. It was fully involved," Marshall said. "The good news is the occupants were out."
    Crews had to approach the blaze cautiously, Marshall added, as there is a power line directly over the property, and it was live during part of the knockdown effort. The fire did not spread to other nearby homes, and no firefighters were hurt.
    "They really contained it," said Gerry Pare, who lives down the street and was getting ready for her teaching job at Ashland High School when the fire broke out.
    Colette Pare-Miller, Pare's daughter, said her mother ran back inside to tell her about the fire.
    "It was really intense," Pare-Miller said. "It took (firefighters) a long time to get it subdued."
    Police blocked off the stretch of road both ways during knockdown efforts. Fire officials believe the blaze began in a room at the front left corner of the house, which Knudson described as his "man cave." The cause is not yet determined, but Marshall said it could be released as early as today.
    Marshall said the structure likely will be a total loss.
    Marshall highlighted the key role working smoke detectors played in getting the family out of the house without injury.
    "That's very positive," he said. "Had they not had working smoke detectors, who knows?"
    Knudson was able to save his motorcycle, car and boat, but many of his belongings were destroyed. Fire officials estimate the loss at between $150,000 and $200,000. Knudson does not have rental insurance and doesn't yet know what's next for his family.
    "This is all new to me," he said.
    Residents along the street will host yard sales from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to raise money for the Knudsons. Gerry Pare said attendees can park in the nearby Talent Middle School parking lot.
    "Everything that we get will go to them," Pare-Miller said. "I have a feeling the community's really going to come together."
    Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.
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