Shakespeare Festival's flaming curtains put out

Crews from two fire departments descended on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's New Theatre Monday morning after a custodian discovered a smoldering curtain in the theater's upper level lighting gallery.

The fire-resistant curtain material prevented the fire from burning actively and spreading, Ashland Fire and Rescue Division Chief Greg Case said. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Dane Coefer, assistant custodial supervisor at the festival, said a custodian smelled smoke at about 8:30 a.m. and upon investigating found the smoldering fire and called the fire department.

Crews from Ashland Fire and Rescue and Jackson County Fire District No. 5 responded in minutes and quickly extinguished the fire.

Fans cleared smoke from the theater, and tonight's production of "Distracted" in the theater won't be affected, officials said.

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