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Fire officials make headway in determining causes for recent blazes

Fire officials have determined the causes of four out of five fires that popped up around the Central Point area over the last two weeks, with three of them caused by electrical issues.

No people were injured in any of the fires and none of the fires were connected, officials said.

“They are not related in any way,” said Jackson County Fire District 3 public information officer Ashley Blakely.

The first fire of the bunch, reported Monday, March 5, near the intersection of Downing and Newland roads, destroyed a horse barn, though a neighbor released the animals that were inside. Investigators determined the blaze was accidental, sparked by some kind of electrical malfunction, Blakely said.

Another barn caught fire a week later on Monday, March 12, in the 6000 block of Tamarack Lane. That fire was also deemed accidental, and was also “possibly” started by an electrical malfunction, officials said.

A house in the 3000 block of Table Rock Road caught fire Tuesday morning, drawing seven engines to the area after first responders called for a second alarm. The flames destroyed a shop outbuilding and also spread to part of the home, with firefighting efforts closing Table Rock Road between Morningside Street and Airport Road. Several chickens died in the fire, officials said.

It’s the only fire of the five in which a cause has not yet been determined.

“(Investigators) are working with insurance companies to better determine a cause,” Blakely said.

Later that day, just before noon, firefighters responded to a vacant house in the 3400 block of Corey Road. That fire was determined to have been caused by reckless burning of materials outside the structure. No arrests have been made in connection with the incident, according to Sgt. Julie Denney with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

On Wednesday, a fire damaged the interior of a house in the 500 block of Wilson Road. Officials were able to save a cat, but a dog reportedly died. The fire was determined to be accidental and caused by an electrical malfunction.

Fire District 3 officials encouraged area residents to run checks to ensure their electrical systems are functioning correctly. An online checklist for an electrical safety checkup is available at http://files.esfi.org/file/Give-Your-Home-an-Electrical-Safety-Checkup.pdf.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com or at 541-776-4468.