Fire tore through a travel trailer on a Central Point property today, sending smoke into the sky that was visible from Interstate 5.
A passerby spotted the blaze in the 6400 block of Blackwell Road at 8:55 a.m. He noticed smoke drifting from the trailer and turned back around the confirm his sighting.
"By the time he got back, there were flames emanating from some of the windows," said Mark Northrop, Jackson County Fire District No. 3 deputy fire marshal.
About 20 firefighters from Jackson County Fire District No. 3, Medford Fire-Rescue and Oregon Department of Forestry responded to the scene to find the trailer fully involved. The trailer's occupant, Ernestine Morey, was not home at the time, but three dogs she had in an unattached kennel nearby were. The trailer is fenced off on a property owned by Morey's daughter and son-in-law, who live on the same lot.
"Although the kennel sustained a bit of melting and heat, the dogs are fine," Northrop said, adding a cat believed to have been in the trailer at the time of the fire's start has not yet been located.
Crews put a hose line in through the window to extinguish the flames. Primary knockdown took about 10 to 15 minutes, Northrop said. No one was hurt, but the trailer was a total loss.
"Fortunately we were able to salvage some of the belongings inside the RV," Northrop said.
The stretch of Blackwell Road running past the property had to be reduced to one traffic lane for about 30 minutes because of the responding engines. Fire officials said the blaze put off a significant amount of black smoke
"When I was en route from Central Point, I could see the column," Northrop said.
Pacific Power crews shut off electricity to the property. Nearby grasslands and trees were a concern in terms of the fire spreading, but crews kept the flames contained to the trailer.
Morey's son-in-law Louie Anderson said she had just moved down to the area from Montana about two months ago. He said he arrived on scene after the fire had been put out.
"Everybody had started wrapping up here," he said.
It's unknown if the trailer is insured. The fire's cause remains under investigation.
— Ryan Pfeil