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Photo by Ed Onofrio
A fire Tuesday burned a shop building to the ground at 116 Mowetza Drive in Ashland. Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before it reached a house about 10 feet away. No one was injured.

Home saved, but memories destroyed

Firefighters responding to a call Tuesday afternoon found a shed entirely engulfed in flames, but crews saved a nearby home, according to Jackson County Fire District 5 Battalion Chief Steve Maziarski. The fire at 116 Mowetza Drive, between Interstate 5 Exit 11 and Emigrant Lake about 3 miles south of Ashland, was reported at about 3:30 p.m.

Maziarski said the fire was extinguished with the help of Ashland Fire and Rescue and a Medford water tender.

He said the shed sat just 10 feet away from a home with an overhang attached. Fire crews were able to save the home, which belongs to Jean Frazier, 88. Luckily her granddaughter, Lauren Frazier, who lives across the street, was there when it happened and was able to help her grandmother flee from the flames.

“I saw a reflection of the flames in her china cabinet, and I was able to help her quickly evacuate,” Lauren Frazier said. “Had I not been there, I don’t believe she would have noticed. And I don’t even want to imagine what could have occurred.”

Frazier said there were many sentimental items in the shed, but “nothing we can’t live without.” She said many of her late grandfather’s, father’s and her old possessions were stored in the destroyed structure.

Maziarski said they have yet to determine a cause for the fire, but it’s still under investigation. He said they might not find a reason for the fire because the building was completely destroyed.

Lauren Frazier said the house suffered only minor damage, including broken windows, paint damage and a melted door.

“The firefighters were incredible with their response time and able to work quickly, diligently and effectively to save her home and attached garage,” Lauren Frazier said.

She said her grandmother was able to sleep in her home the night it happened, “which is so important to her.” She said her grandmother has lived in her home longer than most of their neighbors in the area.

Lauren Frazier said all of their neighbors have been very supportive.

“I appreciate the little Mowetza/Reiten Drive community so much for their amazing support and kindness,” she said. “I have lived in this neighborhood my entire life. I always knew it was special, but yesterday reminded me why I love it here so much.”

Maziarski said this was the only large-scale incident over the holidays.

Contact Ashland Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

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