Police: East Vilas house fire not criminal in nature


Update (09/13 10:45 p.m.) — Medford Police said an investigation determined the fire set at a home on the 400 block of East Vilas Road Sunday night was intentionally set. However, the death of 61-year-old Debra Forsyth, who was in the house at the time, was not criminal in nature.

Officers said once the investigation was concluded, the rental home was turned over to the property owner. The home was demolished after it was determined to be a safety hazard.

Medford, Ore., — A Rogue Valley woman is dead and her home is destroyed.

And now Medford Police have joined fire investigators in looking into the tragedy.

“A passer by reported this fire, he saw a glow on the side of the house.” said Medford Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg

A house on the 400 block of East Vilas Road caught on fire Sunday night, with 61-year-old Debra Forysth inside.

“He stopped, he called 911 and tried to pound on the windows and doors, actually I think he kicked in one of the doors in.” said Kleinberg

Crews responded within minutes but it was too late.

Medford Fire Marshal Greg Kleinberg says they found Forysth in bed, he says there were no smoke alarms in the house.

“We didn’t see one here, at all, but you know people should be thinking about that because its the only thing that’s gonna wake you up.”

And as Kleinberg and fire crews search for what caused this senseless tragedy, Medford Police are also joining in, trying to make sure there’s no foul play involved.

The home has already been bulldozed.

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