A fire ripped through a vacant Medford home at 414 W. Jackson St. just before 3 a.m. Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of two nearby residences that also were damaged in the blaze.
Medford Fire-Rescue responded to the two-alarm fire with six engines and more than 20 firefighters. The fire, which tore through the residence, had started to spread to nearby 412 W. Jackson St.
The home's occupant and her cats made it out safely, Medford fire officials said. A corner of the home was burned from the flames. The occupant of nearby 712 Oak St. was also evacuated during knockdown efforts. The home suffered some minor damage.
"A couple of the windows broke out from the heat," said Battalion Chief Brian Fish.
The back end of the home where the fire started burned to the ground, and the front end was gutted by the flames.
It took crews about 15 minutes to extinguish the blazes on the two properties adjacent to 414 W. Jackson St. and about 45 minutes to knock down the main fire. No one was hurt. Jackson County Fire District No. 3 and Jackson County Fire District No. 5 covered city territory while city crews were on scene.
The property is a rental home managed by Oak Tree Realtors Inc. Jackson County property records list its current assessed value at $62,830. Tim McCullough, Oak Tree general manager, said the home's previous tenant was evicted last week for causing damage to the home, including some broken windows. The next steps for the home are unclear, but the owner is insured, McCullough said.
It's the third such fire to damage an Oak Tree property this year, he added. The first one, an April fire in the 500 block of Mountain View Drive, claimed the life of the single occupant when a smoldering cigarette ignited a sofa.
"I've been at Oak Tree 13 years, and I think up until this year I've had one (fire)," McCullough said.
The fire's cause is still under investigation. Lt. Mike Budreau of Medford police and Medford Fire-Rescue officers are conducting a joint investigation.
"There's certainly the potential it could be an arson," Budreau said.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at email@example.com.