Fire levels Medford barn; cause remains uncertain

Medford fire investigators are working to determine the cause of a fire that burned a barn to the ground on Orchard Home Drive early Thursday.

Medford Fire Inspector Karl Giepel said a call came in about 2:05 a.m. that a barn was on fire at 1470 Orchard Home Drive.

Firefighters arrived within four minutes and connected to a new hydrant installed just across the street from the barn, subduing the flames in a matter of minutes.

The crew of 15 firefighters doused 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.

Only two walls remained amid a pile of debris about 3 feet tall, Giepel said.

The burned barn shares a lot with an abandoned house built in the 1940s 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. "We haven't checked to see if there was any lightning down there. It's still under investigation and (the cause is) undetermined."

A passer-by knocked on the door of a neighboring house and told the resident about the fire. The neighbor then called 9-1-1, Giepel said.

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

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