Police: Arson suspected in two structure fires near Selma

Illinois Valley Fire District says the fires happened on the 700 block of Lakeshore Avenue.

Posted: Dec 13, 2019 6:44 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2019 6:19 PM

SELMA, Ore. -- Authorities are still investigating after the Illinois Valley Fire District helped knock down two structure fires in the Lakeshore Drive area within one block of one another. Oregon State Police says that both fires were intentionally set.

Firefighters responded to the first structure fire in the 700-block of Lakeshore Drive at 1:40 a.m. on Thursday, finding a wood frame house was "mostly engulfed in flames."

Photos courtesy Ned Booth, IVFD

IVFD said that shortly after they arrived at the first fire, a completely separate structure fire was reported. That fire was also located on Lakeshore Drive, within the same block.

Fire units from Grants Pass and Rural Metro responded to the second fire. Both fires were "quickly knocked down," IVFD said. Pacific Power disconnected the power to both houses to protect the firefighters.

Illinois Valley Fire confirmed that paramedics took one injured man to Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. Only one of the houses was occupied at the time of the fire.

NewsWatch 12 spoke to one of his friends, John Rosenberg. He was at the injured man's home waiting for him to return to the hospital.

"This is really, really a tragedy," Rosenburg said. "He's a musician. He hasn't been in the scene for a while and I've been getting him to get back to playing again. We had everything set up for him to go and it's pretty much—all of his life if gone. All of his instruments are gone. He was very much about showing everybody a better way of playing their instruments and really putting himself out there to do so."

On Friday afternoon, Oregon State Police confirmed that investigators suspect arson for both fires. The agency has not yet revealed if there are any suspects in the case.

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