Water line halts Medford bathroom house fire

A candle ignited a fire in a bathroom at 3308 Wheat Ridge Drive in Medford on Sunday afternoon, but the flames burned through a water line that started spraying, dousing the blaze before it could cause more damage.

Medford Fire-Rescue responded with four engines at 2:24 p.m., but the fire was pretty much out when they arrived.

"It's still a mess in their house, but it could have been a lot worse," said Battalion Chief Ken Goodson.

He estimates repairs could approach $10,000 because of the smoke and water damage.

The homeowners had left the house for a few hours and a candle caught the bathroom cabinet on fire. "It burned through the cabinet, and the sink fell through," Goodson said. "It melted through the valves and water started spraying and put the fire out."

Despite the damage, Goodson said the house was still habitable.

"I think they will still be able to move back in," he said.

By the time the fire crews arrived, the owner had already turned off the power and water to the house as a precaution. Goodson said fire crews helped the owners turn the power back on in other areas of the house.

Fire crews cleared the smoke out of the house and inspected the attic to make sure nothing was smoldering. The fire was contained to the bathroom and an adjacent closet.

Goodson said it wasn't clear how the candle caught the bathroom on fire. He said there were candle drippings on the floor.

In some cases, candles will slide off a surface while they're burning.

During the holidays, Medford Fire-Rescue alerts residents to the dangers of burning candles.

Goodson said he sees at least a couple of fires a year that started because of a candle.

Wheat Ridge Drive is located near the intersection of Delta Waters and Foothill roads.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com. Follow on Twitter at @reporterdm.

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