MEDFORD, Ore. — For one family this Thanksgiving, they could only watch as their home went up in flames late Thursday night.
Medford Fire Battalion Chief Erin Sawall said, “Most of the house is unlivable at this time.” Several nearby residents were forced to evacuate their homes around midnight when the house on the 3000 block of Mallard lane caught fire, leaving that family without a place to sleep on Thanksgiving.
The homeowners said they heard several popping sounds before seeing smoke and flames. When they saw flames inside their bathroom, they immediately evacuated with their two children and pet.
We spoke with neighbors who witnessed the incident, “It’s sad, it’s sad. It’s Thanksgiving, supposed to be a happy time of the year, you know?”
Multiple crew members with Medford Fire and Fire District Three fought to put the fire out. “Initially, crews did what’s called a defensive attack,” said Medford Fire Chief Sawall. But, crews were eventually forced to pullback out of the home. “They started protecting the exposure, but then when the roof started coming in, we pulled all of our firefighters out.”
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but those pops heard by the homeowners right before the fire started, were even heard by neighbors nearby. “Obviously, they’re pretty loud because our house is down the street away’s, it didn’t sound like a firecracker really,” said one neighbor. “It was almost, if you were to take, like if you heard like wood planks drop real hard and land on wood.”
Investigators cannot confirm yet what those sounds could have been, or if it had anything to do with the cause of the fire. But Medford Fire Chief Sawall said they will continue to investigate the cause, “To where the fire was, the origin area, and we’ll work our way from that.”
As crews continue their investigation today, recovery after losing their home to a fire will be difficult for one family.