Fire destroys rural Central Point home
Firefighters could do little to save a two-story home on rural Foley Lane which burned to the ground Thursday afternoon.
The owner returned home at about 4:45 p.m. and found the blazing house collapsing in on itself, officials from Jackson County Fire District No. 3 said. He called 9-1-1 and firefighters made their way up the twisting gravel road in the Blackwell Hill area about 15 minutes later.
By the time Jackson County Fire District 3 crews arrived at 5911 Foley Lane, the house had been reduced to burning rubble smoldering on the basement floor.
"We don't know how long the fire was burning before the owner called it in, but it could have been a while," said Don Hickman, a deputy fire marshal with District 3.
The owner was on the scene speaking with fire investigators, but declined to comment or give his name.
Children's toys such as a kid's bicycle and a small four-wheeler were scattered about the outside of the home, suggesting a family lived at the residence.
Investigators need to determine whether the fire sparked on the ground or an upper floor.
"That will tell us something about how it might have started," Hickman said.
Several items close to the fire such as a grill cover and a basketball hoop did not appear melted, suggesting the radiant heat coming off the house did not reach high temperatures.
"That usually means the house fully collapsed in on itself, keeping the heat from spreading outward," Hickman said.
Crews will monitor the diminishing blaze through the night. With cold, damp air settled in the Rogue Valley, the risk of the fire spreading to surrounding wildlands is slim, officials said.
"There's not a lot of wind up here, so we don't think this fire is going anywhere," Hickman said.
"If this were summer, it would be a different story."
Investigators plan to begin work this morning trying to uncover the cause, Hickman said.
No one was injured in the blaze. District 3 sent three engines and a 3,500-gallon water tanker to the scene.
"We needed the tanker because there are no hydrants out here," Hickman said. "But the house was pretty much on the ground by the time we got here, so we didn't need to put much water on it."
Fire crews planned to sift through the remains today and could release the cause in the coming days, Hickman said.
"The only thing we can do tonight is put a good perimeter around it," Hickman said. "This fire is going to burn in the basement for the rest of the night."
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471; or e-mail email@example.com.