Families grieve over homes lost to fire

Medford, Ore. — On the night of the fire, smoke could be seen from across town, and there were many people on Bowmont Circle battling the flames.

Thursday was a little more quiet, as crews spent the day working to find the cause of the fire, and families were left grieving over what’s been lost.

“Just heartbreaking… Ya know, ravages a neighborhood like this, and this is a really tight-knit neighborhood. I grew up here my whole life,” the grandson of a next-door neighbor said.

A Medford home was completely lost within hours Wednesday evening.

“At first I thought it was my grandma… So I kind of went under the tape and ran through which I wasn’t supposed to do, but… What can you do when your neighborhood is on fire?” the grandson, who wants to remain anonymous, said.

A next-door neighbor who wants to remain anonymous thinks back to the days he would spend the night with his friend in the house.

Now, his memories are all that’s left.

“To see the house in the state it is now is just unreal. I don’t believe it.”

Some neighbors say the fire started after someone was weed-eating with a blow torch.

But according to investigators, the exact cause still isn’t known.

They’re looking for the origin of the fire, by getting to the ground level of the debris.

“There’s a lot of roofing and lumber and debris that fell down. We’re trying to layer through that,” Medford Fire-Rescue’s Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg said.

Investigators say the fire started at the house, then the flames ripped through three vehicles, an RV, and spread to the neighboring house.

“One of the reasons this structure caught from the other structure is their so close together,” Deputy Chief Kleinberg said.

Everyone was able to escape With the exception of the family’s dog named Bailey.

Deputy Chief and Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg says the father crawled in to save it, but the situation got too dangerous.

“He made the right decision. I would say never go back in a house that’s not worth your life,” Deputy Chief Kleinberg said.

As for the firefighters, two were sent the hospital.

One for heat exhaustion, and the other for head and neck trauma after a ceiling collapsed.

Both have since been treated and released.

Meanwhile, the families who live in the area are trying to figure out what’s next.

“Gotta rebuild somehow… someway. Ya know, they lost everything… everything.”

Neighbors say the one positive out of the extremely unfortunate situation is how the community has come together.

“I feel the community really does come together when something like this happens….. Which is nice to see.”

There is a way you can help.

If you happened to take any photos of the fire from start to finish, investigators are asking you to share them with the time they were taken.

Investigators say that may help to find the origin.

A total of eight crews worked to fight the fire last night.

Medford Fire-Rescue, Fire District 3, and Jackson County Fire District Five were the first agencies to reach the house.

Then, as crews got tired, a strike team from Josephine County came to help with finding hot spots, and mopping up.

Those agencies included Rural Metro Fire, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, Illinois Valley Fire District, Applegate Valley Fire District, and Rogue River Fire.

“We have a mutual-aid agreement, and we’ll go help in time of need and it works out really well for everybody,” Deputy Chief Kleinberg said

According to Medford Fire-Rescue, the mutual-aid agreement between Jackson and Josephine Counties has existed for more than 40 years.

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