Fire District 3 firefighters were the first to notice the fire at Davis Finish Products, 1790 Ave. G, about 5 p.m. last Friday. Their building is just across the road from the fire district. Despite the fact that the district was on the scene almost immediately, all the elements that make a fire spread quickly were present–the business itself, the heat and the wind.
Within minutes black smoke bellowed high into the sky and could be seen for miles. Those thinking they might get a closer look soon found searing heat and flames, often reaching 60-100 ft. into the sky.
This fire turned into a four-alarm blaze very quickly. Departments from Medford, Ashland, Shady Cove, even Josephine County responded as did policing agencies from Eagle Point and the Sheriff’s Department to help with traffic control. For a time visibility was decreased along Highway 62 as the wind shipped the angry black cloud eastward.
The wind sparked small fires as far as Big R, Burger King and even to Vilas Road and Foothills. Dry grass acted like a wick sending flames marching south on 11th, coming very close to Ferry Morse Seed Co.
There were probably a hundred firefighters battling the blaze in the 100 degree temperature. And with that temperature rehab was kept very busy as the firefighters were rotated in and out, given water, checked and sent back on the line.
The charred rubble and nearby fields were still being watered down Saturday morning as a Jackson County Sheriff’s car sat nearby in case anyone ventured into the off limit territory.
Bud and Cheryl Davis, founded the business in 1994. The structure included a 2000 sq. ft. display room in the 140,000 sq. ft. structure. A visit to their website shows examples of the fine cabintry work they have done. While they could do most anything involving wood, their kitchen cabinets are probably the best known and reside in a number of Upper Rogue homes.
Bud and Cheryl are community-minded people. Not only have they supported Skills USA, they have been supporters of the Jackson County Fair and in 2008 purchased the Grand Champion Turkey, as is seen on their website.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent