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MailTribune.com
  • Gone fishin': Medford man's home burns while he's away

    But resident says he's happy to have his dog, renter's insurance and a 3-foot steelhead
  • Saturday was a good and a really bad day for Bob Day.
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  • Saturday was a good and a really bad day for Bob Day.
    The 73-year-old's rental mobile home on Griffin Creek Road burned to the ground along with a small two-story barn adjacent to his home, but "there is a big fish in my cooler," he said.
    Day's home went up in flames at about 4 p.m. while he was fishing on the Rogue River, and when he showed up to see the damage he was hauling a 36-inch steelhead with him.
    "My friend called me and said my house just burned down. I was just putting my boat away," Day said, teary-eyed, but happy his dog Tanner escaped the blaze unharmed. "My truck, it burned, so he (Tanner), had a pretty rough go of it."
    Day said he has renter's insurance and a friend to stay with until he can figure out another living situation.
    "It was fully involved by the time we got here," said Medford Fire-Rescue battalion chief Brian Fish. "It did start going up the hill a little bit. A few months from now it could have been real bad."
    Fire crews were called to the blaze at 4:12 p.m. and arrived at the home, tucked about a half of a mile up a narrow gravel driveway off Griffin Creek Road, 15 minutes later, Fish said.
    Crews immediately started attacking the fire as it burned through brush surrounding the home, Fish said.
    Three engines and a water tender from Medford Fire-Rescue, a Jackson County Fire District No. 5 water tender and Oregon Department of Forestry personnel responded to the incident, Fish said.
    There were no injuries and investigators were still trying to determine a cause at about 6 p.m., he said.
    The fire sent a towering plume of smoke into a blue sky southwest of Medford.
    Flames licking off the home and barn browned surrounding Douglas firs, blackened a nearby oak, burned through a power line running off the trailer's roof, and melted all of the plastic on one side of a truck parked in the driveway.
    Fish said a dozen firefighters extinguished the fire.
    "I was just worried about my dog," Day said.
    But he was all smiles as he reminisced about how his steelhead jumped the length of itself from the river three times as it dragged the drift boat down stream.
    Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-776-4471 or swheeler@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/swhlr.
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