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Man gets jail, probation for Greenway arson

A man will serve a month in jail for a fire at a Medford homeless camp along the Bear Creek Greenway that grew to about half an acre.

Colin Taylor Duff, 26, was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court to first-degree arson and reckless burning stemming from a fire that threatened a nearby home and business.

Two engines, a brush truck and 11 firefighters responded to the fire reported at 10:34 p.m. May 18.

When Medford Fire-Rescue arrived, the camp was engulfed in flames as high as 30 feet tall, according to an affidavit filed by Medford police in Duff’s case.

It took more than a week to identify the suspect, according to the affidavit. Surveillance video reportedly showed Duff fleeing the fire "immediately after it started.“

Medford police captured Duff May 27, according to the affidavit. When questioned, Duff reportedly said “that he did not make any effort to call 911 or to put the fire out.”

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge David Orr sentenced Duff to 30 days in jail with credit for time served, and three years of supervised probation on the first-degree arson charge, court records show.

As terms of his probation, Orr ordered Duff not to use alcohol or controlled substances, not to have contact with known drug users, and to stay away from a victim’s premises in the 800 block of North Riverside Avenue.

During the Tuesday hearing, the Jackson County District Attorney’s office dropped felony counts of methamphetamine and heroin possession stemming from a November 2020 arrest.

As of Wednesday, Duff was held in the Jackson County Jail with a scheduled release date of June 23 on the felony first-degree arson conviction and July 20 on the misdemeanor reckless endangering conviction.

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