Couple escapes fire that destroys home

An Ashland couple woke to a smoke-filled room and broke out a window to escape a fire that engulfed their two-story home early this morning, Jackson County Fire District No. 5 officials reported. The home did not have a smoke alarm, they said.

The blaze at the home near the corner of Carter Lane and North Valley View Road was first reported by a Talent Avenue resident at 3:59 a.m., District 5 Capt. Jim Campbell said. Residents across the valley reported the flames, which had engulfed the home and were shooting an estimated 15 feet into the air, witnesses said.

Campbell said the husband and wife in the home escaped safely.

Fire trucks leaving the station on the south side of Talent could see the fire's glow as they rushed to the scene, Campbell said. Fire engines and crews from District 5, Medford and Ashland battled the blaze with the help of extra water trucks from Medford and Jackson County Fire District No. 3.

The fire already had torn through about 75 percent of the 2,500-square-foot home when firefighters arrived. Campbell noted that a smoke alarm could have detected the fire sooner, warned the residents and brought firefighters.

"When the first person who reports it is four miles away, it's already pretty bad," he said. "You have limited options."

Firefighters were able to preserve several rooms and salvage computers and business records, Campbell said.

Investigators are looking for the fire's cause today.

— Anita Burke

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