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Candle blamed for travel trailer blaze

WHITE CITY — A fire destroyed a travel trailer in White City Monday, sending a woman to the hospital with smoke inhalation and killing her pet cat.

The fire was reported shortly before 3:15 a.m. Crews from Jackson County Fire District No. 3 arrived at 2575 Avenue A to find flames engulfing a travel trailer in the home's driveway. Two other travel trailers were next to it, one believed to be a residence that was vacant, the other used for storage.

"We had fire extend right into a second trailer right as we were arriving," said District 3 Capt. Will Clelland.

Fourteen firefighters in three engines responded to the blaze. Crews spent about a minute extinguishing the fire's spread into an adjacent travel trailer, which received some exterior damage, including burned siding and broken windows. A car parked in the home's driveway also was damaged. Flames did not spread to the third trailer.

It took about 10 additional minutes to knock down the primary fire. A woman living in the destroyed travel trailer was sent to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. Her name and condition were unavailable Monday. A juvenile also living in the trailer was unhurt, but their pet cat died in the fire.

Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon logs show crews responded to a vehicle fire at the same address Sunday.

"Unrelated, we believe," Clelland said.

Don Hickman, Fire District No. 3 public information officer, said the fire started because the woman had been burning a candle and fell asleep. The candle was homemade, he added, with the wax poured into an empty baby wipes container. "It burned down to the point where it caught fire," Hickman said.

The American Red Cross provided assistance with lodging, food and information on disaster health services following the fire, according to a news release.

"We encourage folks, when they have candles, to make sure they're on a noncombustible surface, and make sure it's out before you go to bed," Hickman said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

A fire destroyed a travel trailer in White City Monday morning sending a woman to the hospital and killing her pet cat. Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch