A lucky escape

Occupants get out safely when west Medford home without smoke alarms goes up in flames
Medford Fire-Rescue engineer Dan Buchanan works on a hot spot Friday after an early-morning fire destroyed a house at 205 Chestnut St. in west Medford. The residence had no smoke detectors.Mail Tribune / Bob Pennell

A fire destroyed a house in the 200 block of Chestnut Street early Friday morning, but all of the occupants were able to escape unharmed, fire officials said.

Neighbors reported the blaze at 3:08 a.m.

When crews arrived, the fire had engulfed 50 percent to 75 percent of the building and flames were blowing through the roof, said Medford Fire-Rescue Fire Inspector Samantha Metheny.

Four to five occupants already were outside the house, and one of them was attempting to put the fire out with a hose, when the four fire engines arrived. Two engines with crews from Jackson County Fire District No. 3 assisted.

The fire was knocked down by 3:30 a.m., officials said.

"It is unlivable and will probably be condemned," said Metheny.

"There were no working smoke detectors in the home, and a neighbor saw the fire and called 911," said Metheny, adding that the occupants were lucky to have escaped safely.

By Friday afternoon, investigators had determined that the fire started on the south end of the house, to the right of the front door, but the cause is still under investigation, said Metheny.

Fire investigators are working in cooperation with detectives from Medford police, who are interviewing witnesses and doing their own investigation.

"We're going to let MPD work their magic for a little while and see if that can help us. Until then, we have to let things play out," said Metheny.

Property records show the house is owned by Stanley Charles Hagist.

No pets were in the house, said Metheny.

"We'd like to recommend that you have working smoke detectors throughout your homes and you check the batteries," Metheny added.

Reach reporter Mandy Valencia at 541-776-4486 or avalencia@mailtribune.com

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