Fire closes Medford coffee shop

Oregon Mountain Coffee Co., a coffee roaster and shop on North Phoenix Road in Medford, expects to be closed for up to a week after a roaster fire spread to its attic Tuesday evening, owner Ryan Burke said.

The fire was reported at 5:02 p.m. at the coffee shop in the Albertsons shopping center at 930 N. Phoenix Road. The first fire engine arrived at 5:04 and found lots of smoke but no flames, Medford Deputy Fire Chief Larry Anderson said.

Firefighters were checking the building to make sure the fire hadn't spread, when the fire began to burn again in the attic, damaging beams, Anderson said. Crews called a second alarm, bringing all five of Medford's fire engines and one from Phoenix to the scene. About 22 people were involved in fighting the fire, which produced roiling smoke, but no flames that could be seen by people passing by.

"It took a lot of coordination," Anderson said, noting that damage was limited.

A neighboring Blockbuster video outlet and a Weldon's cleaners were evacuated as a precaution but were not damaged, Anderson said.

Burke, who has owned the coffee business with his wife, Marleece, for one year, said he was roasting a large order of coffee for a commercial customer Tuesday afternoon. He had just finished the last batch of that order when the fire started. He said it appeared that an exhaust system on the roaster had malfunctioned and caused heat to build up. A flue fire started, then spread into the attic.

The Burkes were at the shop cleaning up today while fire inspectors checked the equipment. No estimate on the value of the damage was available this morning.

Four employees at the shop will have some time off while repairs are made and Burke hopes to have loyal customers fully caffeinated in no time.

"As soon as we can get them coffee, we will," he said, noting that he felt especially bad for the customers who missed their Wednesday morning cup.

— Anita Burke

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