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Fire destroys motor home parked near Ashland gas pumps

ASHLAND — Security cameras at an auto repair shop just outside Ashland captured two people unloading contents from an RV less than two hours before the vehicle burst into flames Monday night.

Bree Narramore, co-owner of the auto shop and a nearby U-Haul business, said the footage showed an unidentified man and woman unloading the property into another vehicle before driving away, leaving the RV behind. That was about 15 minutes before the 10 p.m. closing time for a Shell gas station that's also on the property. Narramore said she plans to share the footage with Ashland police.

The fire was reported at 11:20 p.m. at the gas station, 461 S. Valley View Road, which is just off exit 19 and a stone's throw from Interstate 5.

Narramore said her son alerted her to the fire when he came home.

Jackson County Fire District 5 officials said multiple callers — driving by or at a nearby Burger King restaurant — said they saw flames burning on the vehicle.

An engine from Ashland Fire & Rescue arrived first, with an additional engines and water tender from District 5 arriving soon after to assist. Ashland police and the Jackson County Sheriff's Department also responded, officials said.

"By the time the first engine got there, it was fully involved," said engineer Dave Meades of Fire District 5.

Meades said the vehicle was parked about 100 feet from the station's gas pumps. Police and fire officials had to block off one lane of South Valley View Road for about 20 minutes while fighting the fire. Crews had the blaze mostly knocked down by about 11:41 p.m., Meades said.

The motor home was a total loss. The flames also damaged a nearby sign, coin-operated vacuum for vehicle interiors and another vehicle — Narramore's Nissan 350Z — parked nearby. Narramore said the main damage was to the vehicle's bumper, which melted.

"The metal's OK. The whole car smells of smoke," Narramore said, adding the RV was also parked in front of a natural gas meter.

Meades estimated there was about $50,000 in damages. No injuries were reported, and the motor home was empty.

Meades said the vehicle's owner was still a mystery.

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

The burned-out hulk of a motor home sits at the Shell station on Valley View Road at exit 19 just north of Ashland on Tuesday. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the blaze and who owns it. It was unoccupied at the time the fire was reported at 11:20 p.m. Monday. Daily Tidings/Bert Etling
Surveillance video shows two people leaving a motor home that less than two hours later burst into flames.