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Death investigation follows Sams Valley fire

Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a death at the scene of a trailer fire that broke on a rural property near Sams Valley.

At 3:17 p.m. Saturday, police received a 911 call reporting a fire in a trailer in the 3100 block of McMartin Lane. The caller reported a woman was inside the trailer, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Personnel from Fire District No. 3 responded to fight the fire and found the trailer fully engulfed. Dispatchers relayed a message to arriving firefighters to proceed cautiously because the trailer was being treated as a crime scene.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office detectives and an investigator from the medical examiner’s office responded to assist with the investigation, the release said.

A neighbor, who declined to give her name, said she heard “popping sounds” and a woman screaming before the fire started. The neighbor said she called 911.

Flames reached as high as 25 or 30 feet, according to the neighbor and caused a pillar of smoke before police and firefighters arrived, according to the neighbor. Pacific Power and Oregon Department of Forestry crews were also on scene, and the neighbor said the crews swiftly knocked down a small grass fire on the rural property, which appeared to be well maintained.

A man was seen being loaded into a sheriff’s car and driven from the scene, but no details were available on whether the person was a suspect or whether anyone had been arrested.

Further information, including the identity of the deceased, will be released later, according to Jackson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Julie Denney, who added that preliminary fire investigations can take more time than other criminal investigations.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

JAMIE LUSCH / MAIL TRIBUNE Jackson County Sheriff's investigators and Fire District No. 3 personnel were on the scene of a trailer fire near Sams Valley Saturday where a body was found inside.