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Dryer malfunction caused Tuesday house fire

A fire that destroyed a Medford home and displaced a family of six early Tuesday likely was caused either by a clothes dryer malfunction or by a failure of the electrical outlet the appliance was plugged into, Medford Fire-Rescue officials said.

It isn't known whether the dryer was running when the fire broke out at the home in the 3700 block of Crater Lake Avenue, but fire officials said one of the occupants had put in a load of laundry before heading to bed, somewhere between 11 p.m. and midnight Monday.

"They had been doing laundry that evening prior," said Steve Parks, deputy fire marshal for Medford Fire-Rescue. "It was in use prior to the fire breaking out."

It isn't clear whether the family was alerted by the smell of smoke or by the sound of smoke alarms, Parks added. One of the male occupants awoke to see smoke and flames down the hallway near the kitchen and laundry room, and awakened his family, he said. They all escaped without injury.

The blaze drew four Medford engines to the scene. Flames caused nearby power lines to collapse, which initially inhibited entry to the property, located off a cul-de-sac at the intersection of Skyhawk Ridge and Dover Ridge Drive.

When crews arrived, they saw flames shooting out of the windows and set to work preventing the flames from spreading to nearby structures. The fire was out in about 21 minutes.

The property and contents were a total loss. One of the residents was treated for smoke inhalation, but everyone else was unhurt.

— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.