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Fred Meyer evacuated after smoke spreads throughout building

Firefighters knocked down blaze inside a long trailer of delivery truck next to the building

The Fred Meyer in the 1300 block of Center Drive in Medford had to be evacuated of customers and employees Tuesday afternoon because of a fire inside a long delivery trailer that was parked next to the store’s delivery bay.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune The south Fred Meyer was evacuated after a truck in a loading dock caught fire in Medford on Tuesday.

Smoke spread throughout the store from the bay, which is situated in the back of the structure.

Three fire engines, one ladder truck and two battalion chiefs responded to the truck fire at approximately 4 p.m. The incident required a full structure fire response because of how close the trailer was to the building, said Battalion Chief Jason Johns.

It took only about five minutes for the trailer fire to be extinguished by Medford firefighters.

“It was a quick knockdown,” Johns explained at the scene.

Getting the smoke out of the big-box store was going to take much longer, however.

“We’re dealing with a significant amount of smoke,” Johns said. “It’s such a big building.”

Industrial fans were brought to the store so the smoke could be cleared out.

Johns also said the contents of the trailer was also unknown as of Tuesday evening.

Such industrial fires aren’t uncommon occurrences, he added.

The cause of the fire was unknown as of early Tuesday evening and will be investigated by the fire marshal.