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Cadillac Escalade fire is possible arson

Medford fire and police investigators are looking into a suspicious fire that destroyed a Cadillac Escalade SUV early Wednesday in west Medford.

Neighbors in the 1200 block of Maple Park Drive reported at about 1:30 a.m. that they heard popping sounds and looked out to see a parked Escalade engulfed in flame, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.

Some neighbors reported seeing a small sport utility vehicle speeding down the street, away from the fire, Doney said. Maple Park Drive is a short residential street that connects West McAndrews Road and North Ross Lane.

The intense fire consumed the vehicle, even melting the windshield, Doney said. Investigators have seized the burnt-out hulk and plan to test whether accelerants were used. Although popping sounds and intense flame can be routine parts of fires, the noises and the other vehicle seen leaving the area have sparked suspicion as investigators work to determine the fire's cause, he said.

"We are looking at this as a possible arson," Doney said.

He said the Escalade's owners own several properties and weren't at the home where the SUV burned in the driveway. Investigators had to contact them at another home to tell them of the fire.