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Fireplace ashes started east Medford fire

It took Medford Fire-Rescue crews about two minutes to douse a house fire in east Medford late Thursday morning that was started by fireplace ashes.

The fire, at 105 Geneva St., was reported at 10:20 a.m. by callers who saw smoke and fire at the back of the home.

“The callers reported that they did definitely see flames,” said Medford Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Kip Gray. “So we knew it was an actual fire.”

Crews from the first engine to arrive confirmed a fire on the outside of the house near the garage. A neighbor already had done some work with a garden hose, and all occupants had made it out safely. No evacuations of neighboring homes were required.

“We pulled a line back there, put some more water on it, and then we sent some crews into the attic to check for an extension up there,” Gray said, adding that no flames were seen but that smoke had begun to fill the home’s interior.

Crews stayed on scene and cut holes in a wall to check for flames that might have crept into undetected spaces.

“There’s definitely potential for fire to be in a void space or something in some of the older homes,” Gray said. “Sometimes they have a basement or two or three attic spaces. But, you know, we respond with our lights and sirens to these homes just like we do (with) any other home.”

Four engines responded to the scene, with apparatus clogging Geneva Street and temporarily closing its intersections with Minnesota Avenue and Sherman Street.

The fire started in a plastic bin where fireplace ashes had been left, according to a Medford Fire-Rescue Facebook post.

The house is just down the street and around the corner from Addictions Recovery Center, a nonprofit at 1003 E. Main St., which endured a fire at one of its campus buildings last month following an electrical component malfunction in the attic.

Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanPfeil.

Ryan Pfeil / Mail Tribune Medford Fire-Rescue crews extinguish a house fire Thursday in east Medford.