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Family, pet safe in west Medford home fire

A family and their cat were displaced Wednesday by a two-alarm house fire in west Medford, but no one was hurt.

The fire in the first block of Lozier Lane — directly across the street from Sherm’s Thunderbird Market — was reported shortly before noon as a couch on fire outside the house, but the blaze quickly spread up the side of the house and into the attic and “horizontally throughout the home,” according to Medford fire Chief Eric Thompson.

The first engine arrived within 3-1/2 minutes of the first 911 call at 11:51 a.m., according to Thompson, drawing 19 firefighters from Medford Fire-Rescue, Jacksonville Fire Department and Jackson County Fire District No. 3.

The cinderblock structure consisted of “three different buildings put together,” according to Thompson, who described a one-story residence connected to a sun room and a two-story apartment building.

“We had fire extended in all three of those,” Thompson said. “We did go to a second alarm ... it had a metal roof on it, the fire was spread out and we just wanted to get a jump on the fire.”

The home’s renter, Rebecca Laughlin, said she rushed home from work when she got a call from her son about the fire. Her son described sparks from a power line on the phone, Laughlin said, adding that her son, daughter-in-law and toddler grandchild only had enough time to get themselves out of the house with the clothes on their backs.

“That’s everything we own in there,” Laughlin said.

Laughlin expressed relief that her children and grandchild were OK.

Thompson later said fire investigators found the family’s cat unhurt outside the wreckage of the house, and he wasn’t aware of any other missing animals.

Thompson described damage to the house as “very heavy” and said the contents sustained heavy smoke and water damage. A deputy fire marshal was working with the occupants to find shelter, and a fire chaplain was seen talking to Laughlin.

“It’s not going to be able to be lived in,” Thompson said.

Five engines, a ladder truck and Mercy Flights paramedics were on the scene of the fire, which closed Lozier Lane at West Main Street for more than an hour, according to Thompson.

Pacific Power crews were also on scene to handle a downed power line, according to Thompson. The fire burned through “the main power feed into the building” and “it was live on the ground” until Pacific Power secured the line.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Wednesday afternoon, but investigators had narrowed down the point of origin to the driveway side of the house.

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

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneFirefighters work to put out a house fire Wednesday off Lozier Lane in Medford.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneFirefighters work to put out a house fire Wednesday off Lozier Lane in Medford.