Fire torches downtown Medford warehouse

Fire crews battled a three-alarm warehouse fire on Fir Street early this morning.Bob Pennell

A three-alarm fire ripped through a warehouse in downtown Medford early today, drawing a slew of firefighters to the scene while flames and ash spit into the air.

The fire was reported at about 1:46 a.m. in the 200 block of Fir Street, which is just across the street from the Mail Tribune. Chase Browning, fire investigator for Medford Fire-Rescue, said crews arrived to find the structure fully involved, with flames lighting up the street.

"When crews arrived on scene, there were large columns of flame," Browning said. "Very hot, it grew very fast through the building."

Medford crews were assisted by additional firefighters from Jackson County Fire District No. 3. Power had to be shut off to all buildings surrounding the fire, but Browning said the electricity has since been turned back on.

The length of time crews had to spend getting the blaze under control was not immediately available. The building is a total loss.

No one was hurt, and the fire's cause and origin remain under investigation. Information was not immediately available on the building's square footage or what it stored.

"Our next stop is to bring heavy equipment in to safely approach the investigation," Browning said.

Smoke continues to pour off the leveled building this morning, with a motley of brick, charred wood bits and ash scattered on the stretch of North Fir Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. That stretch is closed to traffic. The building's interior is a black mass of collapsed wood and metal.

We will continue to update this story through the day as more information becomes available.

— Ryan Pfeil

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