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Pot cigarette likely sparks Medford house fire

Medford Fire-Rescue made quick work of a house fire Thursday night likely sparked by a discarded marijuana cigarette, confining the flames to a portion of the structure’s exterior before it got too serious.

“There wasn’t a ton of damage, but it could have been significantly worse,” said Deputy Fire Marshal Tanner Fairrington.

Crews responded at 9:13 p.m. to the house at Washington and Main streets. The homeowner noticed a fire in dry vegetation near the house. Four occupants — two adults, two children — made it outside safely and called 911.

“(Firefighters) got there in time to put it out before it got more serious,” Fairrington said.

Damage included some windows on the house, a portion of the patio, some vegetation and yard maintenance equipment, including two lawn mowers and a leaf blower.

The likely cause of the fire was a discarded cannabis cigarette that had been stomped out near some dry leaves and pine needles 30 to 45 minutes before the flames were spotted, according to a Medford Fire-Rescue Facebook post.

“Ash and embers from the discarded cigarette likely started a smoldering fire in the dry vegetation nearby and eventually reached flaming combustion and spread to nearby combustible materials,” the post said.

Fairrington estimated the fire caused about $1,000 in damage. While on scene, crews installed a smoke alarm, as the home did not have one.

Fire officials recommend discarding cigarette butts in a metal container filled with water to prevent such accidents.

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