Medford apartments catch on fire, leaving several homeless

MEDFORD, Ore. – A handful of Medford residents are picking up the pieces after being displaced by an apartment fire, Friday.

The fire damaged a group of apartments early last Friday morning.

It was around 2:20 a.m. Friday when Medford Fire and Police were alerted to an apartment fire, across the street from Bear Creek Park.

When they arrived, the flames spread onto other units.

Shiela Parker is one of the tenants affected by Friday’s apartment fire in East Medford.

She said, “nine of us were displaced and we all have to move out and some of the people have found homes but we’re still looking. So, it’s very devastating, it’s really hard right now.

She says she and her boyfriend were asleep when it happened and woke up to police, yelling at them to get them out of their homes.

Parker says animals were rescued and she and the other tenants are getting help from the Red Cross.

She’s lived here for 13 years and never expected something like this could happen to her home.

Parker said, “it’s really hard being homeless, you know? I never thought I’d be homeless right now, it’s really hard… It’s really hard.”

Like Parker, Brooke Hockett and her boyfriend, Jakob Barnhart, were asleep when the chaos began.

The couple was rushed out, which wasn’t easy for Hockett, as she’s still recovering from a broken leg a few months ago.

Hockett said, “when I was going down the hallway, I had saw the fire up on the patio and I had to take a double take at it, because I had just woken up out of dead sleep and I yelled at him saying ‘we got to go, we got to get out of here, grab the dog.”

Hockett says she and Barnhart don’t have renter’s insurance and everything inside their home was a total loss.

Only a few items were grabbed on the way out.

Hockett said “we actually got our phones and our one wallet…”

Barnhart added, “even the phone barely survived.”

“Yeah, our phones barely survived,” Hockett said. “But everything else gone…”

“A complete loss,” Barnhart said.

All of the tenants clearly devastated and in shock from the fire just days ago.

Hockett said, “it doesn’t matter if you don’t think a fire will happen or not, you should probably have a ‘to-go bag’ just in case. Because for us it happened so suddenly that we weren’t prepared, we just had to go and run, we had to get out.”

Firefighters are still investigating what caused the fire.

Some of the tenants have GoFundMe campaigns online.

You can find Hockett & Barnhart’s here.


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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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