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Fire officials asking public for video, photos of Butte Creek Mill fire

EAGLE POINT — If you have photos or video of the Christmas fire that leveled Butte Creek Mill before emergency crews arrived, Jackson County Fire District No. 3 would like to take a look.

Agency officials said their investigation is in its infancy, because unsafe conditions prevent them from entering the core of the building where the fire likely started in the 143-year-old historic landmark.

"We really are starting from nothing right now and trying to build on it," said Ashley Lara, District 3 spokeswoman. 

Footage or photos taken before fire crews arrived could provide investigators with a better idea of where the fire started, a more exact time of when it started, and whether anyone was around the building prior to ignition. This could extend to nearby businesses with surveillance cameras, passing vehicles with dash cameras, or anyone walking through who had a cellphone, investigators said. 

"We're trying to collect all of the data right now, and sometimes there are pieces out there we don't even know about," Lara said. 

People with such images are asked to call 541-274-9307 or email

AshleyL@jcfd3.com

Fire crews responded to the blaze just after 4 a.m. Friday. Five engines and 18 personnel from District 3, Medford Fire-Rescue and Lake Creek Rural Fire District battled the flames that devoured the 5,522-square-foot structure.

The fire destroyed most of the building, now considered a total loss. A dollar amount of damage done to the mill is not yet available. Fire officials have been coordinating with insurance company officials, but unstable conditions inside the mill have prevented investigators from getting deep inside. 

The mill, on the west bank of Little Butte Creek near downtown Eagle Point, has seen six owners since its construction in 1872 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. 

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.