ARC fire under investigation, community speaks out

MEDFORD, Ore. — A well known Medford non-profit is searching for answers after an attic fire damaged one of its buildings Sunday.

Burnt wood and shattered glass remain on the grounds of the Addictions Recovery Center in Medford. Employees told NBC5 News that the damaged building was used for outpatient needs and educational purposes.

Firefighters were able to arrive quickly after the fire started at about 1:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

“Right now we’re assessing the scene for safety so we can move forward with the investigation in a safe manner,” said Chase Browning, Fire Investigator with Medford Fire-Rescue.

Firefighters believe the fire most likely started in the attic.  Investigators say it took about 50 minutes to fully put out the flames.

“Suppression activities definitely were intricate and made complicated by some of the imminent possible collapse concerns with the structure itself,” said Browning.

Addictions Recovery Center CEO and President Lori Paris said despite this tragedy, the services they offer will continue even if they can’t take place in that building.  The board is currently trying to figure out where they will move.

The Executive Director of Rogue Retreat, Chad McComas said his non-profit works closely with ARC in helping to serve those in need.

“The ARC isn’t a building, it’s what they do from those buildings, it’s the people that they touch, it’s the lives that are changed in this community, it’s that ripple effect,” said McComas.

Medford resident Cambria Stelle said she’s one of the people who rely on the Addictions Recovery Center.

“They’ve given me so many tools to better my life and to be able to be a better mom,” said Stelle.

Stelle said she has been going there for about a year now. She’s glad to hear the non-profit is working out a solution to continue bringing services to people in need.

“A lot of people, their lives depend on it as mine did at one time, so I really hope it gets figured out,” she said.

Firefighters said no civilian injuries were reported but one firefighter was injured.  Investigators are continuing to look into the cause tonight.  There’s been no estimate for the damages to the building.

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