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Tolo Road fire quickly contained, under investigation

Fire investigators and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating what started a fire in an industrial area outside Central Point city limits that sent plumes of smoke visible from Interstate 5.

No one was hurt in a shop fire reported late Wednesday afternoon at 6687 Tolo Road, according to Jackson County Fire District 3 Deputy Chief Mike Hussey, but the cause was under investigation as of Wednesday evening.

The fire was first reported at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, when 911 calls came in for fire to a shop building in the area surrounded by industrial businesses, according to Hussey and Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon records.

Hussey said witnesses told officials that the fire started with a “loud boom” followed by clouds of black smoke.

Owing in part to a neighboring business’ 8,000 gallon water tank, crews with Fire District 3, Medford Fire Department and Oregon Department of Forestry were able to knock down the fire in less than an hour and keep it from spreading, despite winds and heat hovering in the high 90s.

“It really made a difference,” Hussey said of the water tanks, adding that crews were able to try tactics to knock down the fire that would have been difficult without a water source.

According to Hussey, the Sheriff’s Office is also investigating the fire because the sheriff’s office has “had contact” at the location in the past. Hussey described the law enforcement investigation as standard procedure for fires that occur in places with prior calls to police.

Lighter colored smoke was visible from Exit 35 on I-5 during the firefight.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Firefighters work to contain a structure off of Tolo Road in Central Point on Wednesday.{ }Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune