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Arson Not a Factor in Early Morning Fire

FireMEDFORD, Ore. — Fire investigators are ruling out arson in an early morning house fire on Newtown Street in downtown Medford.

Units were dispatched to the fire at approximately 5 a.m. The report apparently came from the homeowner who woke up to the smell of fire on the back porch. The fire started in a pile of grass clippings. The homeowners had bagged the clipping and set them next to a house. Fire officials said this is dangerous because the microorganisms decomposing the material heat it up and can start a fire.

Four engines and five police units responded. The house is not a total loss but received damage on the first and second floors. No injuries were reported.

Fire investigators said to prevent this type of fire from happening, do not bag your grass clippings. Spread them out or take them to a nearby disposal site.