Investigators seek cause of barn fire

Medford fire investigators are still investigating a fire that burned a barn to the ground on Orchard Home Drive early this morning. According to Medford Fire Inspector Karl Giepel, a call came in about 2:05 a.m. that a barn was on fire at 1470 Orchard Home Drive. Within four minutes fire crews arrived and were able to connect to a new fire hydrant installed just across the street from the blaze, subduing it in a matter of minutes. A crew of 15 firefighters responded and were able to put out the barn blaze and a grass fire surrounding it using the deck gun from the top of a fire engine, Giepel said. No other structures or homes were involved.

Today only two walls remain amid a pile of debris about three feet tall, Giepel said.

The burned barn shares a lot with an abandoned house built in the '40s, and is located on the corner of Orchard Home Drive, and a new street called Gravenstein with no homes on it yet.

"It should not have been inhabited but we don't know for sure if someone was sleeping in there," Giepel said, of the destroyed barn. "We haven't checked to see if there was any lightning down there. It's still under investigation and undetermined."

A passerby knocked the door of a neighboring house and told the resident there about the fire. That neighbor then called 9-1-1, said Giepel.

"We haven't had any recent arson fires in this area," Giepel said. "It's a big mystery at this point."

Fire investigators are at the scene today and plan to interview neighbors.

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