Rural Metro Fire investigating suspicious fire

Murphy, Ore. — Rural Metro Fire responded to a fire more than one-acre in size. When crews arrived, they found a garage up in flames and the fire was spreading to nearby trees in a rural Murphy neighborhood.

“Saw some little light – almost like a starlight – through trees. So I thought, okay – something’s not right about that,” said Mark Bell, a nearby resident. Bell lives just down the road from where the early morning fire sparked.

“I noticed that this structure was on fire here. It looked like a good span of 100 feet of fire here just engulfed,” Bell said.

Bell quickly called 911.

“Very first thing that entered my mind is it has to be arson – that was just my assumption,” Bell said.

While the fire is leaving several nearby residents suspicious of arson. Rural Metro Fire said they are unable to move forward with an arson investigation, unless they have concrete evidence to do so.

“To use words like arson, are actually more of something that has to have a conviction,” Bell said.

But Rural Metro Fire said finding a cause is difficult, because the property is unoccupied.

“The investigation process of this has to start with the narrowing down and ruling out of different indicators,” Bell said.

Still, they’re looking for anything that may point them in the right direction.

“Accelerant evidence like gasoline spills or patterns that it was being used,” Bell said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. If you have any information that may help fire investigators, you’re asked to call Rural Metro Fire.

NBC5 News reporter, weather forecaster, anchor Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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