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Arson Fires Under Investigation

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. – In the recent weeks, Josephine County fire crews have had to fight an unusually high number of fires that called for police investigation.

It was on Allen Creek Road where a detached garage caught on fire Tuesday night at 9:30 p.m. Fire officials say because they suspected this could be possibly arson, crews and detectives were on scene until almost 1a.m. that morning. Nobody was injured in that fire and damage from the fire was contained inside totaling about $1,000.

Meanwhile, detectives are also trying to determine if a structure fire in the Riverbanks area was arson. Just a few months ago in June, the Grange Hall was a complete loss in a fire detectives confirmed was intentionally set. It’s a dangerous trend that fire officials say can tie up fire crews, exhaust law enforcement, and pose a risk to those nearby.

“Just because the building is on fire doesn’t mean that the forest land cant also ignite, which then posses a whole other hazard for us and requires more resources,it could potentially put more homes at risk,” explains Rural Metro Fire Marshall Mike Shaw.

Depending on the circumstances OSP officials say those responsible for an arson related crime can face felony, criminal mischief charges and even up to a measure eleven enhancement if injuries are or could have been involved. For the Riverbanks Fire, fire officials say they still have to rule out an electrical cause or the possibility or arson, but on Allen Creek Road, arson is the only possibility left to rule out.