House fire on Ball Road

House fire on Ball Road
House fire on Ball Road

A vehicle fire at the home of Vic and Diane Eccleston on Ball Road led to the estimated loss of $200,000 when their home was severely damaged by fire.
According to Fire District #3 officials, Eccleston came home for lunch on Aug. 6, parking his small vehicle in the carport area.  Eccleston went into the house and a short time later heard a popping noise from the garage area.  When he went to investigate, he found his vehicle in flames.  He quickly called 911 and took a garden hose to the fire and very nearly had it under control.

The fire began as an electrical fire, but soon engulfed the car with
flames.  Before crews from Fire District #3, ODF, Fire District #4 and
Medford could arrive at the scene, the entire carport was ablaze. 
Firewood at the north end of the carport caught fire and soon it was
burning with a vengeance.  The intense heat ignited parts of the newly
remodeled house, where dead spots in the attic caused fire fighters
problems in controlling the spread of the blaze.  The metal roof,
normally good protection from outside firebrands in rural homes,
reflected heat back to the interior, making fire suppression all the
more difficult.
Assistant Fire Marshal Don Hickman said that
the voids in the attic had no outside access. Such areas always present
troubles to fire fighters who cannot then vent the attic area to let
heat dissipate. 
The rural area also presents problems
because water is not readily available.  ODF crews pulled water from
the swimming pool, but Fire District #3 relied on water tenders from
Fire District #4 and Medford to combat the blaze.  Several thousand
gallons were used to extinguish the fire.
Smoke and heat
damaged a large portion of the home.  Fire crews and the homeowner were
able to salvage many personal items from the house though some of those
might have been damaged.
Hickman cautioned homeowners to
stack firewood a safe distance from the home and other structures.  He
said there has been an unusually large number of structure fires this
year, and urges homeowners to use caution because of the very dry and
windy conditions that exist.
By Ralph McKechnie
Of the Independent

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