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Man, dog found dead

Man, dog found dead

A Medford man and his dog were discovered dead in a fire-damaged house on the 700 block of King Street Friday morning.

Police and fire investigators believe Ronald Paul Leaverton, 60, died of smoke inhalation after a cigarette accidentally set fire to a sofa he was sitting on. His pet dog was found dead nearby.

The fire happened sometime this week, but investigators haven't pinpointed exactly when it broke out. It caused smoke and heat damage to the living room of the small home before it apparently burned itself out, Medford police Lt. Mike Moran said. The fire damage was limited to the area immediately around the sofa.

The fire and Leaverton's death went undetected for several days until Friday morning when Leaverton's sister visited to deliver a Valentine, Moran said. She reported her discovery to authorities at about 9:30 a.m.

Investigators, including a county medical examiner, are continuing work on the case. Moran expects them to confirm the initial reports.