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Charcoal briquettes dumped in trash can likely cause of Talent house fire

TALENT — Fire officials say that charcoal briquettes dumped in a trash can are the probable cause of a fire that caused damage throughout a home early Friday.

Dispatch logs show the fire was first reported at 1 a.m. in the 100 block of Autumn Ridge Court. Capt. Tony Halley of Jackson County Fire District 5 said crews arrived to see flames roaring from the structure.

"It was well involved," Halley said. "It was blowing through the garage. It looked like it had gotten up in the attic and went through the roof."

Fire officials said the trash can that contained the briquettes was directly beneath an attic vent, which is why the flames were able to travel so quickly.

Four engines total responded to the scene, with two from District 5, one from Ashland Fire & Rescue, and one from Medford Fire-Rescue. Halley said firefighters had the flames mostly knocked down in about 20 minutes.

"Then it was mostly getting up and pulling ceiling and putting out hot spots from there over the next hour," Halley said.

Halley said there was no concern that the blaze would spread to other homes. The house is not believed to be a total loss, he said, but added there is significant fire and smoke damage throughout the structure, including the attic, garage and kitchen areas. A specific dollar amount on the damage was not available.

Fire officials said ashes and other materials up to two days old can still hold heat and can spark a fire if placed near combustibles. They recommended storing the ashes in a non-combustible container and storing it in a safe area. They also said to consider soaking the materials with water.

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