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Suspicious Fire Under Investigation

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MEDFORD, Ore. – The Fire Prevention Bureau is investigating what some officials are calling a suspicious fire that destroyed a vacant house on South Columbus Avenue last night.

Within five minutes of receiving the call just before midnight, 15 firefighters had arrived to the scene on 1468 South Columbus Ave. The blaze had already consumed much of the building.

“Based on the fire conditions, living in town here, within a five-minute response time, it is unusual to have that kind of burn,” said Captain Brian Farber of the Medford Fire Department.

Farber says they are investigating the cause of the fire. At this point there are few details.

“As of last night they were still trying to get a hold of the property owner, talking to neighbors,” said Farber. “There was a report that possibly some people were living here but later it was determined that the building was vacant.”

One neighbor described seeing the blaze from his home during the middle of the night.

“I could just see from my back porch… our tree was just lit up with fire from behind,” said Josh McArdle.

While the fire was contained after roughly 20-minutes, fire officials and witnesses say it could have been much worse.

“We have a pine tree that drops a lot of needles,” said McArdle. “That’s fire kindling right there. It would have been our back yard.”