A firefighter works on a fire that ripped through about half of a hilltop home on West Griffin Creek Road Friday morning. Mail Tribune / Julia Moore - Julia Moore

Crews battle house fire

A fire ripped through a hilltop home on West Griffin Creek Road Wednesday morning, destroying about half of the house.

Fire crews said no one was at home when the fire started, but numerous neighbors called 911 after the blaze sent up a column of black smoke that could be seen from Medford.

Medford Fire-Rescue responded without knowing the exact address of the fire. Crews found the burning two-story home at 5142 West Griffin Creek Road, which is in Applegate Valley Rural Fire Protection District No. 9. The Medford crew attacked the flames while Applegate firefighters made their way to the house, Medford on-call fire investigator Samantha Metheny said.

According to Jackson County property records, the 4,000-square-foot house was built in 1993 and is owned by Paul Newcombe and Jennifer Sands. A call to Newcombe was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Three water trucks, each carrying 2,000 gallons, were sent to the scene, Metheny said.

"When the first callers called in, there was heavy involvement on the west side of the house," said Chris Wolfard, operations chief for the Applegate Valley fire district. "When Medford Fire got out here, they were able to stop the fire from progressing to the east and the second half of the house. Unfortunately, the west side is a complete loss."

The fire had ripped through a living room and upper story. Firefighters moved vintage sports cars from the garage and out of harm's way.

"Figuring out which driveway led to the column of smoke was the problem," Wolfard said Wednesday morning. "We're going to be here putting out hot spots for a least a couple more hours, and we'll probably have crews on scene for 10 or 12 more hours after that."

Reach Mandy Valencia at or 541-776-4486.

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