Fire destroys Upton Road shop, displacing three people

A fire apparently started by a gas-powered generator led to the destruction of a shop with living quarters inside on the 5900 block of Upton Road in Central Point.

The fire started at 10 p.m. on Thursday after a piece of cardboard placed on top of the generator to protect it from falling snow caught fire, Jackson County Fire Dist. No. 3 Fire Marshal Hugh Holden said.

Residents of the 2,400 square-foot shop, which was partially converted into a home, found the flaming cardboard and extinguished the fire, or so they thought.

The fire slowly regained intensity after the three residents, whose names were not released, were asleep inside, and flames began to engulf the building at about midnight, Holden said.

The generator, which was the residents' only source of power, was running against an outside wall and being fueled from a gas tank inside the building, he said.

"It was all kind of jerry-rigged," Holden said.

Fire crews responded to the incident about midnight and had the fire extinguished down to smolder and smoke by 1:30 a.m. Medford Fire Department was also called in for support.

Because of the instability of the burnt structure, firefighters waited until an excavator arrived on scene to tear down the remnants of the building at about 11 a.m. today. Firefighters finally left the scene at noon.

According Holden this type of fire, one which seemingly reignites after thought to have been put out, isn't out of the ordinary.

"This sort of thing is common; when people think they have a fire out and a few hours later they wake up to their home burning," he said.

"When folks have a fire they need to call the fire department ... we have the training to make sure a fire is out," Holden said.

— Sam Wheeler

Share This Story