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Fire crews halt four-plex blaze

A structure fire in Central Point damaged two apartment units in a four-plex, but caused no injuries early Monday afternoon.

Residents of the 800 block of Cherry Street said they noticed flames running up the side of a first-story apartment and burning a hole through the attic and roof of a second-story unit and called 9-1-1 at about 1:12 p.m.

Firefighters and police responded within five minutes and had the fire doused by about 1:30 p.m., officials said. Jackson County Fire District No. 3 Capt. Bryan Cohee said the cause of the fire is under investigation. A damage estimate was not available Wednesday night.

Central Point police were the first to arrive and made sure the four-plex and adjacent homes were evacuated, said Lt. Jeff Britton.

Seventeen District 3 firefighters responded to the scene with five engines and a ladder truck. Traffic temporarily was blocked on Cherry and North Eighth streets while crews battled the fire. A crowd of residents from nearby houses and apartments gathered to watch as crews sorted through the damaged four-plex.

Connie Bond, a resident of the damaged second-story apartment, said she was glad to be safe and thankful for the quick actions of a neighbor who came and banged on her door in time for her to get out of the apartment.

"That's a good neighbor, you know, we all watch out for each other, that's what neighbors do," Bond said. "I'm so thankful, he's a hero, but he won't even talk about it."

Tyler Nobriga, who lived in the first-floor apartment, said most of the damage in his unit was caused by smoke and water. Nobriga was not home when the fire began.

Stressing the fire was still under investigation, Cohee said it appeared that the blaze started on the outside of the first-floor apartment, burned upward into the attic of the apartment above it, then burned down through the ceiling and into the apartment itself. Burn holes in the wall and roof of the second-story unit were clearly visible from outside the complex.

Representatives from Northwood's Property Management, who manages the complex, were unavailable as of press time.

Connie Bond is consoled by neighbors after her apartment was damaged by the fire. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch - Jamie Lusch