Chickens killed in early morning shed fire

Several chickens died in an outbuilding fire north of Eagle Point early this morning.

A Mail Tribune carrier reported the fire just before 5 a.m., according to Capt. Rick Mendenhall of Jackson County Fire District 4.

"They were out delivering the paper and noticed this outbuilding had some fire in it," Mendenhall said. "Kudos to them."

Carrier Kelsi Jones, 21, had pulled over while on her route when she spotted the flames.

"I drove up the driveway to check it out and make sure it wasn't somebody's house or something," Jones said. 

Jones saw the flames and smoke coming off an outbuilding, which firefighters later would estimate to be about 40 yards from the house. Jones honked her vehicle's horn to try and wake up the residents, then pulled back down the driveway, where she called 911. She then moved her vehicle so she wouldn't be in the way of approaching fire engines.

"Where I was, when the fire truck showed up, I didn't know which way they were coming from, so I would have been blocked in," she said.

District 4 responded with an engine and a water tender, originally calling for some mutual aid from Jackson County Fire District 3. But the first units on scene canceled aid.

Seven or so firefighters arrived about 10 minutes after the original call. Flames had spread to a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro the property owner had been restoring, Mendenhall said.

"It took quite a bit of damage," Mendenhall said of the car.

Firefighters knocked the fire down in about five minutes. Mendenhall estimates eight chickens perished, mainly from the smoke. Officials said the fire was caused by a heating lamp that shorted inside the coop.

The structure sustained about $3,500 in damage, but the car's damage was estimated at $30,000, Mendenhall said.

— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or Follow him at

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