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Fire destroyed a garage Thursday night in west Medford. [Photo courtesy Medford Fire-Rescue]

Fire destroys garage in west Medford

A fire destroyed a garage in west Medford Thursday night, but fire crews were able to prevent flames from spreading to the house.

Medford Fire-Rescue crews responded at about 9:18 p.m. to a home in the first block of North Peach Street with four engines and a ladder truck. The garage, which is behind the house, was fully engulfed by flames when firefighters arrived.

The garage had been used as a den by the property residents, with a refrigerator, television and portable heater all plugged into a single outlet.

The outlet reportedly had some issues and would sometimes spark, according to a Medford Fire-Rescue Facebook post. The residents would also sometimes smoke there, but fire officials don't believe that was the cause.

"Based on witness statements and information on scene, it was more likely than not electrical in nature," said fire inspector Chase Browning.

Residents were inside the house when the fire started. They had left the den about an hour earlier, then heard a popping noise and came outside to see the structure in flames. A neighbor also heard the popping sounds, Browning said.

The 15 firefighters and two battalion chiefs who responded kept the flames from spreading. No one was injured.

"It was mainly confined to the garage," Deputy Fire Chief Justin Bates said. "It was far enough away that it didn't get into the main house."

Crews had the blaze under control in about five minutes, Bates said, though the garage is considered a total loss. Browning estimates more than $20,000 worth of damage to building and contents.

"This is a good reminder to avoid overloading older buildings with multiple appliances," the agency Facebook post said. "And if you see any indication of sparking or other electrical issues, have a licensed electrician examine the equipment."

— Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.

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