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4-minute response saves home

A Medford homeowner narrowly avoided being displaced by a fire Saturday thanks to a four-minute response by firefighters.

Jonathan Woodard was watching his young grandson inside his house Saturday morning when he saw flames "rolling out" from the eaves of his shop, which is connected to his house. He didn't have time to put on shoes as he got his grandson and sprayed a garden hose at the workshop roof. 

The first call came in at 10:36 a.m., Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon records show, and crews were on scene to the house at 2224 Happy Valley Drive by 10:40, according to Medford Fire-Rescue Capt. Randy Green, who said Woodard is "very lucky" crews were able to respond quickly.

"It saved this house," Green said. "It was starting to run the attic."

Crews were able to reach parts of the attic where the fire was spreading after pulling away the ceiling and dousing it with water.

"It was a good working fire."

Woodard, shoe-less and covered in wet soot from his garden-hose efforts, breathed a sigh of relief as a fire inspector told him that the main part of his house would still be livable, meaning he would not be displaced because of the fire.

"That's wonderful," Woodard told the fire inspector. "I've still got a place to live."

Woodard said he had "no idea" how the fire could have started. It happened so fast that he didn't even have time to put shoes on before taking his grandson out of the house.

"I went and grabbed him and got out," Woodard said. 

Though it's known that the fire began in Woodard's shop area, the cause of the fire was still under investigation late Saturday morning, according to Green. Four engines with Medford Fire-Rescue and a truck with Jackson County Fire District No. 3 responded to the blaze. Pacific Power was able to disconnect electricity to just the shop and garage.

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

A Saturday morning house fire at 2224 Happy Valley Drive in Medford did heavy damage but no one was injured. [Photo by Larry Stauth Jr.]
Firefighters attack a house blaze Saturday morning at 2224 Happy Valley Drive in Medford. [Photo by Larry Stauth Jr.]