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Man charged in Medford trailer fire

Arson suspect allegedly stored gasoline in jars and buckets

A grand jury voted Thursday to indict a man for arson after he allegedly set a trailer fire that threatened multiple homes in an east Medford neighborhood.

Stephen Juan Recio, 56, was charged with two counts of first-degree arson accusing him of setting fire to an RV trailer earlier this week in the 1800 block of Roberts Road, according to documents filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

A fire investigator told Medford police that the fire Monday in the backyard of 1820 Roberts Road showed signs of having been set intentionally, and that the trailer was parked near a fence in a neighborhood where houses are close together, according to an affidavit filed by police in the case.

"All of the surrounding houses also seemed to be in danger of burning,“ the police affidavit stated.

One witness allegedly captured video of a man fitting Recio’s description entering and leaving the area prior to the fire, according to police.

When questioned by police, Recio denied involvement but allegedly admitted he had lit the trailer on fire with a torch three days earlier. When police mentioned the video evidence, Recio told an officer “that the video must be edited, and that it was from three days ago,” the affidavit states.

Roommates at the residence allegedly told police that Recio has a “fascination with fire,” the affidavit states. The night before the fire, roommates told police they had discovered that Recio had been “storing gasoline in mason jars and buckets in the bathroom.”

“Recio is known to carry multiple torches, so the roommates removed the gasoline and dumped it on the ground outside,” the affidavit states. “There was one mason jar of the gasoline left, which was hidden in a vehicle outside the residence.”

Recio appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court Tuesday on the two arson charges. At the hearing, Judge pro tem Paul Moser set bail at $500,000 and ordered no early release unless Recio posts 10% bond.

Should Recio post $50,000 bond, Recio ordered that Recio possess no flammable items, matches or accelerants, and have no contact with the alleged victims.

As of Thursday, Recio remained in the Jackson County Jail. Recio is slated to be arraigned Friday, records show.

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