Medford serial arsonist strikes again

, Posted in Local, Posted: Thu, July 24 2014 at 7:25 AM, Updated: Thu, July 24 2014 at 5:31 PM

Medford, Ore. -- Update: Medford's serial arsonist strikes again. The person is  believed to have started fires at four different locations in just the last 24-hours, all in the downtown area.

Medford police said they are now up to 22 arson investigations since late-June. At this point, fire officials told NBC5 News, the cost is probably in the thousands of dollars as investigators continue to respond to all these fires.

According to police, the most recent string of arsons began on Wednesday night around nine with a small fire lit in the alcove of the Beaver Tooth Oak Warehouse in the 400 block of South Fir Street.

Then around 3:30 in the morning, just down the road in the 600 block, roughly 30-foot flames shot up scorching hundreds of crates at the back of the Tree Top Plant.     

Hours later at 7:50 a.m. police found bushes on South Holly Street smoldering and minutes after that, around eight, a tree was lit on fire at Hawthorne Park.

Medford Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg said investigators are focused on catching whoever is responsible.

"The cops have a bunch of extra people out every night responding to these calls as they come in and so we're going to catch the guy sooner or later, whoever's doing this," said Kleinberg.

According to Kleinberg, it's also possible there are copycats out there, which highlights how important it is that residents keep a watchful eye out for any suspicious activity. This is especially true for the people living in the West Medford and Downtown areas.

Police said they're relying on witnesses and surveillance cameras for now. MPD said the more times the arsonist strikes, the more likely the suspect's luck will run out.


A suspicious fire breaks out in West Medford Thursday morning, just after 3:30 a.m., with flames rising 30 feet in the air near the railroad tracks on Fir Street.

A security guard for the plant attempted to battle the flames with nothing but an extinguisher. The flames scorched hundreds of crates at the back of the Tree Top Plant.     

Officials say it appears the fire started along the railroad tracks and the wind pushed it into the nearby crates. The boxes were empty, but employees say the loss is still costly.

When police arrived on scene they immediately began asking for descriptions, searching for a suspect.

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