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He grabbed the dogs and nothing else

At least one unit was significantly damaged and tenants throughout a Central Point apartment complex were displaced Thursday by fire, but officials say the people and pets who live there are safe without so much as a singe.

A fire that reached two-alarm status broke out just after 3:12 p.m. Thursday in the third unit of a six-unit townhouse complex at 50 S. Ninth St., according to Jackson County Fire District 3 spokeswoman Ashley Blakely. By the time the first unit arrived — within five minutes — the building was fully involved, with flames flowing out a first-floor window and up to the second floor.

The fire drew eight engines from District 3 and Medford Fire-Rescue, according to Blakely, including a ladder truck, and prompted closures near Biddle Road at Eighth and Ninth streets.

The fire ravaged the first and second floors of the No. 3 unit and spread to the attic, according to Blakely.

Next-door neighbor Tim Huckabee said he was among the first to notice the fire.

Cradling his dog Scout in his arms, Huckabee said he’d been in the apartment relaxing and watching YouTube videos when he “smelled something kinda funny,” looked outside and saw smoke and flames.

He shouted to a neighbor in the complex behind him to call 911 while he went inside to grab Scout and another dog, Bailey, from the two-story unit, then fled to a safe distance.

Huckabee said he didn’t even think about grabbing anything else.

“I never really experienced anything like this before,” Huckabee said, adding that he drew from elementary school lessons to just get out when fire breaks.

At the scene, he said he witnessed firefighters move hose through his apartment, but he wasn’t sure whether his home was damaged.

“You don’t really think about that stuff on the daily.”

It wasn’t immediately known how much damage the fire inflicted on neighboring units, and a cause is under investigation. The American Red Cross assisted residents in all six units until crews could investigate the structure’s integrity after the fire.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

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