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Oak Knoll neighborhood reopens to traffic

Ashland firefighters have extinguished most hotspots in the Oak Knoll subdivision, where a fire destroyed 11 houses Tuesday, and the neighborhood was reopened to traffic at 8 a.m. today.

“I hope it doesn’t become a spectacle, but at same time I know people in the neighborhood are curious and want to see what happened,” said Chris Chambers, public information officer with Ashland Fire & Rescue. “We’re trying to facilitate families coming back and searching through the rubble for things that may have survived.”

Ashland Fire & Rescue crews remain on scene and are searching for any remaining hotspots, he said.

“In terms of actual extinguishing of all potential embers and smoke — I think we’re still looking for those, but we made it through second night, so I think we’ve taken care of the vast majority of those,” he said.

Five of the 11 houses that burned have been condemned by the city, Chambers said. The other six houses were totally destroyed in the blaze, he said.

Fire officials are expected today to release the number of acres the fire burned in the Oak Knoll neighborhood. On the west side of Interstate 5, the fire burned six acres, consuming a barn and an abandoned trailer.

The city’s Public Works Department is working to clean the streets of debris.

—Hannah Guzik