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Electrical Failure Causes Fire

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MEDFORD, Ore. — Investigators spent days sifting through rubble left behind by the fire that destroyed Marie Callender’s on Biddle Road. Investigators blame electrical failure for the fire. Cleanup efforts are underway nearly a week after the fire first started.

Six investigators have been here since Tuesday combing through the rubble to figure out where and why the fire started. Investigators narrowed down the cause to a ten feet area in the attic space above an office area.

An electrical failure caused this massive ball of fire at the Marie Callender’s on Biddle Road on Saturday morning. It left behind charred kitchen equipment and even some gift cards and menus.

The fire also left behind clues to its cause, leading investigators up to the manager’s office. Medford fire inspector ralph Sartain says something stopped working and electricity kept heating up.

“Something can cause that mechanical item to stop spinning but the electricity doesn’t realize it stops spinning and it keeps sending the electricity and that electricity keeps heating up and heating up and will eventually catch on fire,” said Sartain.

Investigators cannot give away what specific kind of mechanical item failed causing the fire. In 1984, when the building was built, city code did not require a fire suppression sprinkler system.

If the restaurant had that system, investigators say they’d be sifting through a building with some water damage…not digging through a completely destroyed building, totaling a loss of at least two million dollars.

All that’s left for investigators is to do follow up interview with the staff and the first 911 caller.