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3 structures lost, 1 arrest during 5-acre firefight near White City

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A Jackson County Fire District 3 firefighter extinguishes a spot fire Friday during the Corey Fire, which swiftly grew to five acres and destroyed three homes. [Fire District 3 photo]
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneA helicopter attacks a fire off Corey Rd and Foothills near White City Friday afternoon.
Crews fight the Corey fire, which broke Friday in the outskirts of White City and Central Point and quickly grew to 5 acres. Three homes have been confirmed destroyed in the fire.

Three homes are confirmed destroyed in the aftermath of a fire that broke Friday evening on the outskirts of Central Point and White City.

The two-alarm fire broke at 4:38 p.m. Friday on Corey and Foothill roads and swiftly grew to five acres, taking with it the three homes and numerous outbuildings and vehicles, according to dispatch data on PulsePoint and Jackson County Fire District 3.

The three structures lost were on a property in the northeast quadrant of Corey Road and Foothill Road that Battalion Chief Jason Allen described as a known hazard property.

“It has been a hazard property for us, and has had multiple fires over the past few years,” Allen said. “There is a lot of debris — you could call it junk.”

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, several individuals emerged from small trailers and structures when crews arrived on scene.

Sheriff’s deputies told the individuals to stay out the fire zone multiple times throughout the evening, according to a Saturday update from the sheriff’s office. When one refused, police arrested 45-year-old Jeremy Wayne Sabin on a misdemeanor charge of interfering with a firefighter.

As of midday Saturday, Sabin was not listed as an inmate in the Jackson County Jail.

The residents displaced by the fire haven’t needed shelter assistance from the American Red Cross, according to Allen. Instead, the residents will utilize other structures on the property. There were multiple single-wide manufactured homes on the property.

Rescuers had time to search the homes prior to their collapse and have confirmed no injuries. As of Saturday morning, Allen knew of no pets that had been reported lost or injured in the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The structure fire that spawned several spot fires was first detected via the Alert Wildfire camera, according to Fire District 3.

Fire District 3 called a second alarm, drawing added resources from Medford Fire Department, ODF — including two helicopters — and the Rogue Valley 1 strike team comprised of resources from Rural-Metro Fire, Grants Pass Fire Rescue, Rogue River Fire Department, Illinois Valley Fire District and Applegate Valley Fire District No. 9.

Roughly 15 additional structures were threatened during a firefight that closed roads, called out multiple agencies and prompted Level 2 evacuations in the area.

Allen said that some of those threatened structures were barns and outbuildings after the fire crossed Foothill and started taking out fencing.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.