ASHLAND, Ore. — A fire in Ashland on Tuesday caused more than $200,000 in damages to a home and displaced the occupants, according to Ashland Fire & Rescue (AFR).
Fire crews and police responded to reports of a fire in the 500-block of Fordyce Street just after 12:30 p.m. Although the fire reportedly started outside of the house, it was already "well established inside the home" when firefighters arrived.
A fire engine from the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) also responded to ensure that fire did not spread to grassy areas just a block away.
Firefighters quickly doused the flames and ventilated smoke, but there was significant structural and smoke damage to the home. The Fire Marshal estimated losses exceeding $200,000.
A NewsWatch 12 reporter on the scene learned that a woman and her cat were inside the home at the time that the fire started, but they escaped without injury.
AFR says that the residents were helped by the American Red Cross with immediate needs for shelter, food, and clothing. No one was injured in the fire, which was kept to a first alarm response.
"Though the exact cause was not yet determined, there are a couple safety precautions that can prevent a fire, especially during the summer and fall fire season," AFR said in a statement. "One is to extinguish all cigarettes in water and a metal container designed and designated for that use. Outdoor landscaping mulch and dry leaves can carry flames easily to a home and bark fires are common during hot and dry weather in Ashland.
"The second fire precaution is to limit the use of exterior extension cords to 90 days where they are left out in the weather. Cords start to wear down over time and can short, causing an ignition source close to the home."