Fire tore through a travel trailer on a Central Point property Thursday, 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 to 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 District 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 were in an unattached kennel nearby. 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, but a cat believed to have been in the trailer when the fire started could not be located.
Crews put a hose through the window to extinguish the flames. It took about 10 to 15 minutes to knock the fire down, 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 was reduced to one 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, but crews kept the flames from spreading.
Morey's son-in-law, Louie Anderson, said his mother-in-law moved from Montana about two months ago. He said he arrived after the fire had been put out.
"Everybody had started wrapping up here," he said.
The fire was caused by an overloaded circuit, according to fire officials.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.