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The Penninger Fire came uncomfortably close to home one year ago today

The fast-moving fire damaged some homes and forced evacuations around Central Point and Medford as it rushed through fields of dry grass.

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 6:27 PM
Updated: Jul 17, 2019 6:27 PM

Speech to Text for The Penninger Fire came uncomfortably close to home one year ago today

Below is the closed-captioning text associated with this video. Since this uses automated speech to text spelling and grammar may not be accurate.

"watching out for you, this is newswa balkenbush is live near one neighborhood that was forced to evacuate. she tells us how families there are feeling today on the fire's anniversary. one year ago today the field that i'm standing in right now was on fire. [a11]penninger fire one year later-dual box take a look at this video you see on your screen right now. police say the fire started near a homeless camp on greenway near the family fun center. it grew to about 97-acres. and forced evacuations for a 2-mile radius around the jackson county expo. families tell me it's been a tough year but there are some good things that came from that day. "this whole week we've kinda been on edge more than usual." today is a difficult one for deelani hookano and her family. july 17th 2018 was a regular day. she was home with her 9-month old baby girl when she got a call from her husband about a fire nearby. "we looked out there was smoke out on the horizon but nothing really, the neighbors were kinda out watching." she wasn't worried at first.. until the noise outside her home got louder and the winds got faster. "within five minutes the fire had gone from one side of penninger all the way over to us like right up to the road." she, her baby and her parents managed to evacuate and went to a hotel. they weren't able to go back home until that night not knowing what they would find. little did she know - her neighbors had jumped into action, putting water on her home. she came back to find everything just as she left it. after the fire - hookano and her family made some major changes. "we all have go bags now." they aren't the only ones being more vigilant. she could tell the season and kind of definitely more on edge keeping their lawns down and maintained and everything." the hookano family didn't lose anything in the fire.. but they did gain something important. a sense of community among the people who went through it all together. she can't thank her neighbors enough who ran over to protect her home during the chaos. "we went and we bought them a case of beer, you know we stay very friendly with them we make sure to watch each other's back and so we are just really appreciative of our community here." last july - the jackson county sheriff's office identified the man killed in the fire as 60 year old robert walker. they say he was homeless and living along the bear creek greenway. reporting live in central point, emma balkenbush, newswatch 12. newswatch 12 was the first to
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