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Fire leaves family of six without a home

A fire destroyed a house on Crater Lake Avenue early Tuesday and displaced a family of six, one of whom suffered smoke inhalation.

The fire was reported at 3:09 a.m. in the 3700 block of Crater Lake Avenue, and Medford Fire-Rescue responded with four engines.

"While en route they could see a working structural fire, fire through the roof," said Erin Sawall, agency battalion chief.

Flames were shooting out the windows and had spread throughout the structure, a rental that housed three adults and three children, Sawall said. All had made it outside safely by the time crews arrived.

"They got outside with literally just the clothes on their back," said Battalion Chief Ron Nelson.

Crews attacked the fire with the main objective of keeping it from spreading to nearby homes.

"Obviously those become some of the priorities that we look at," Nelson said. "It was a defensive fire for us because it was so well involved. So those exposures are our most important thing at that point once we've confirmed everyone's out and safe."

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in 21 minutes, despite the presence of live downed power lines that initially hindered access to the property. Crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby houses, but the structure and contents inside were a total loss.

"Everything has totally been destroyed," Nelson said.

The structure is off Dover Ridge but retains a Crater Lake Avenue address. The house had been at the location for a number of years, with a southern driveway that connects to Crater Lake Avenue. A nearby subdivision was built around it, Nelson said.

One of the adults suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center as a precaution, but no other injuries were reported. Chaplains and fire personnel worked with the American Red Cross to place the family for the night.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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

Fire investigators look through the rubble of a home destroyed in a fire Tuesday that displaced six people. [Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch]