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Fire damages multiple townhouses in Phoenix

A three-alarm fire early Thursday at a complex of townhouses in Phoenix displaced four families, Jackson County Fire District 5 officials said.

Numerous 911 calls from the complex at 600 W. First St. reported the fire around 1:40 a.m. Thursday, said Dave Meads, an engineer with District 5. Crews arrived to see flames leaping through unit 11, where the fire started.

"One unit was heavily involved when we got there," Meads said. "There was significant damage to those on either side."

With the risk of flames spreading through the complex, firefighters triggered additional alarms to bring more crews to the scene, he said.

"We went to third alarm to complete the knockdown," Meads said.

Fire engines and people from Ashland Fire and Rescue and Medford Fire-Rescue joined District 5 in Phoenix, while crews from Jacksonville and Jackson County Fire District 3 stepped up to cover other calls for those departments.

Everyone got out of the damaged townhouses safely, Meads said.

The Red Cross reported that its disaster assistance team provided temporary lodging and other immediate needs for the two adults who live in the townhouse where the fire started. Neighboring families had relatives in the area to stay with, Meads said.

A fire investigator is working to determine the cause of the blaze. Because the home is badly damaged, finding the cause could be difficult, Meads said.