Cause of Mr. Thom's fire doesn't surface quickly

Investigators are studying the ruins of Mr. Thom's salon, home and inn, searching for the cause of the massive blaze that ripped through the amalgamation of historic homes making up the structure on South Stage Road Thursday.

Medford Fire Department, Oregon State Police and insurance investigators were all sorting through the debris, and a Jackson County deputy district attorney was on scene this morning.

"We're gearing up the investigation," Medford fire battalion chief Brian Fish said. "It's going to be a long, drawn-out process."

Investigators will focus on finding the origin of the fire, he said. They had talked to owner Thom Martin, his receptionist and two clients who were at the salon when the fire broke out Thursday afternoon and expect to spend days sorting through the rubble for evidence.

A fire truck remained on scene to handle remaining hot spots in the mounds of debris. A scorched field behind the building was flooded with irrigation water Thursday night to drown any lingering embers, Fish said.

— Anita Burke

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