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MailTribune.com
  • Vacant west Medford home damaged in fire

  • Fire scorched about half of a vacant west Medford home's detached garage late Monday, but responding fire crews prevented the blaze from spreading to the main structure, fire officials reported.
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  • Fire scorched about half of a vacant west Medford home's detached garage late Monday, but responding fire crews prevented the blaze from spreading to the main structure, fire officials reported.
    The blaze, reported at 10:08 p.m. in the 400 block of South Peach Street, is being considered suspicious at this point, though the investigation has not concluded.
    "We're going down that road until we prove otherwise," said Medford Fire-Rescue battalion chief Brian Fish. "I can't guarantee that's what it is, but it just makes us wonder."
    If the fire was started on purpose, it could be another addition to a list of dozens of vacant homes in west Medford damaged by a serial arsonist who has allegedly been setting the fires since April 2012. Fire crews will be back on scene today to try and determine an official cause.
    Four engines responded to the reported blaze and were on scene by 10:11 p.m.
    "They saw flames coming up above the (garage's) roofline," Fish said.
    Crews were initially worried about the fire spreading to the nearby home. The main structure is about six feet away, and flames shot out the garage's side door, threatening to reach an attic vent and spread into the home's upper level. Fish said crews had the fire knocked down in about five minutes. The flames caused an estimated $5,000 in damage. No one was hurt.
    Fish said the previous occupants had left behind some garbage in the garage, much of which had been charred by the flames.
    "(They'd) just kind of left remnants of stuff," Fish said. "It wasn't a hoarders kind of deal."
    Fire inspectors will continue the investigation today. Fire officials encouraged other city residents to be vigilant in noticing and reporting suspicious activity.
    "Keep an eye out," Fish said.
    — Ryan Pfeil
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