|
|
|
MailTribune.com
  • Vehicle fire brings suspected arson count to eight

  • An arsonist opened an unlocked truck, splashed flammable liquid around the interior and lit it on fire early today, bringing a likely streak of intentionally set blazes in the past week in west Medford to eight.
    • email print
  • »  RELATED CONTENT
  • An arsonist opened an unlocked truck, splashed flammable liquid around the interior and lit it on fire early today, bringing a likely streak of intentionally set blazes in the past week in west Medford to eight.
    Medford Fire-Rescue responded to the fire, reported at 24 N. Orange St., at 2:26 a.m. Firefighters arrived on scene to see the vehicle, an older model Ford truck, fully engulfed in flames. One fire engine was able to extinguish the blaze. The fire did not reach the Ford's engine, but the cab was destroyed. No one was injured.
    "It's a little different than the other ones," Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg said. "Doesn't mean that we're not ruling out any relationship."
    The streak of intentionally set fires kicked off between 4:30 and 6:30 a.m. July 9 at four alleyway locations in west Medford. Firefighters first responded to 320 N. Holly St. to find several hay bales burning near a fence. At 4:53 a.m., immediately after the hay fire was out, crews had to dash to nearby 440 N. Grape St. for a reported burning shed. A burning fence at 535 Pennsylvania Ave. was reported at 5:17 a.m., followed by another burning shed at 329 N. Holly St. at 6:38 a.m.
    Flames scorched dry grass and part of a vacant home's exterior at 1704 W. Main St. at 6:15 p.m. that day.
    On July 11, firefighters snuffed a pile of burning debris near 835 Bennett Ave. The next day, crews had to put out a small grass fire in an alley behind 1021 W. 10th St.
    The cause of the West Main and West Tenth fires remain undetermined, as there were other possible ignition sources in the area, but they are still considered suspicious, investigators said.
    "It would be fair to say our radar is on all of them because they're in such a tight area," Kleinberg said.
    A damage estimate on all the fires is just under $2,500. Arson sprees have happened before, Kleinberg said, but the intensity and rapidity of this one has fire and law enforcement officials on edge.
    "We're very concerned about this," Kleinberg said. "This is a lot of fires in a short time period."
    Area residents are encouraged to keep an eye out and report any information or suspicious activity to Medford police Detective Tony Young at 541-774-2230.
    — Ryan Pfeil
Reader Reaction
      • calendar