A fire outside Ashland city limits that briefly reached two-alarm status was quickly knocked down Tuesday afternoon.
The well-involved fire destroyed more than 50 percent of a house at 594 S. Valley View Road, according to Jackson County Fire District No. 5 chief Charles Hanley, but the home's occupants and pets had escaped safely by the time rescuers arrived on scene.
Ashland police was first to call in the fire at about 12:40 p.m., according to Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon reports and Hanley. Upon Fire District 5 and Ashland Fire Rescue crews' arrival, the home was in flames and large plumes of smoke were visible close to the Ashland Exit 19 I-5 on-ramp.
The fire visibly destroyed the roof of the home and severely damaged the front of the house, but Hanley said smoke and heat damage is "through the entire house," making it difficult to point out where the fire started until crews can further investigate.
Fire District 5 and Ashland Fire Rescue crews knocked down the fire within 10 minutes of their arrival, Hanley said, but not before calling a second alarm about 12:55 p.m. that brought Medford Fire-Rescue on scene. Medford crews turned back after the second alarm was cancelled.
Challenges fighting the fire included a long, steep, narrow driveway and a home with no hydrants nearby. Three Fire District 5 fire engines, two Ashland fire engines and three water tenders were used to fight the fire, along with crews from Avista and Pacific Power.
Hanley reminded homeowners to keep narrow driveways clear of vegetation so rescuers can better access them, and to post addresses visibly and legibly so they're easier to find in an emergency.