On Friday, December 30th, Medford Fire (MFD) responded to a reported structure fire at The Jackson apartments located at 518 N. Riverside Ave. The fire was reported at approximately 10a by occupants and from a waterflow alarm indicating the sprinkler system had activated.
When crews arrived on scene and observed smoke, they upgraded the call to a structure response. Additional MFD units were dispatched, along with one Jackson County Fire District 3 (JCFD3) engine.
The fire was limited to a single dwelling unit. Overall, damage was minimal due to activation of just one of the two sprinkler heads located within the apartment.
Firefighters used an extinguisher on the fire which had been contained by the sprinkler system. An adult and young child were alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm and evacuated quickly. A dog remained in the unit and was later rescued by firefighters.
The fire appeared to spread from a nightstand to a foam mattress. Authorities say that foam mattresses have a material makeup that is similar to gasoline, and they generate a lot of heat and a lot of toxic smoke.
The sprinkler system at this location was installed voluntarily during renovations to house victims of the Almeda Fire. A child was sleeping in the bed just prior to the fire and had the sprinkler system not been installed, officials say the outcome could have been very different.
Additionally, more of the occupants may have been displaced had the fire not been contained by the sprinkler system. Medford Fire officials praise the owner for voluntarily choosing to install this system to protect the life and property of families that have already suffered loss from fire.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. No injuries were reported.