Updated: Cause determined of morning fire that burned through two Medford homes

A fire that burned through a Medford home just after midnight spread to the residence next door, where it damaged part of a room before firefighters extinguished it.

Officials have determined the cause of the blaze was accidental. The fire ignited when one of the occupants using a medical oxygen attempted to smoke, according to a new release.

Medford Fire-Rescue officials said first responders were on scene within two minutes of the initial 911 call. Around 30 firefighters and eight engines eventually made it to the fire, which started in 25 Willamette Ave. and crossed over to 29 Willamette Ave. next door.

"We had two buildings on fire upon arrival," said Erin Sawall, Medford Fire-Rescue battalion chief.

Officials upgraded the incident to a three-alarm fire, as there were reports people were still inside the homes. Crews eventually found out everyone in 25 Willamette Ave. had exited, and that the occupants in 29 Willamette Ave. were out of town.

Crews knocked both blazes down in about 25 minutes. No one was hurt. The fire caused extensive damage to the interior of 25 Willamette Ave. and damaged an eve, outside wall and second-story bedroom at the other home.

Medford Fire-Rescue reminds the public that people using medical oxygen need to take precautions. Oxygen use while smoking or using open flames nearby can be deadly. A combustible material that ordinarily would be difficult to ignite can ignite easier and burn vigorously in an oxygen enriched atmosphere.

— Ryan Pfeil


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