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Talent fire causes severe damage to home

 Posted: 8:50 AM September 10, 2012

A fire that broke out at 5:45 a.m. today at 106 Foss Road left the home severely damaged after firefighters spent 20 minutes trying to knock it down.

Douglas Knudson was in the shower when he heard his wife screaming and the fire alarm went off. He joined his wife and son, who is in seventh grade, and ran outside, escaping the blaze safely.

"You always have a plan, but when it's happening, man you are disoriented," Knudson said.

Crews from Jackson County Fire District No. 5 responded to see large flames and rich smoke pouring off the home's front end. Additional crews from Medford Fire-Rescue and Ashland Fire & Rescue responded. Six fire trucks were on scene, along with about 20 firefighters, said Fire District No. 5 Chief Dan Marshall.

"It was heavy smoke and fire. It was fully involved," Marshall said. "The good news is the occupants were out."

Crews had to approach the blaze cautiously, Marshall added, as there is a power line directly over the property. The fire did not spread to other nearby homes, and no firefighters were hurt during knockdown efforts.

"They really contained it," said Gerry Pare, who lives down the street and was getting ready for her teaching job at Ashland High School when the fire broke out.

Fire officials think the blaze's area of origin is a room at the front left corner of the house, which Knudson described as his "man cave." The cause is not yet determined.

"We'll start there. It's a process," Marshall said.

Knudson was able to save his motorcycle and boat from the fire. He does not have rental insurance and doesn't yet know what's next for his family.

"This is all new to me," he said.

Residents along the street will host yard sales along the block 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16, to raise money for Knudson and his family. Gerry Pare said yard sale attendees can park in the nearby Talent Middle School parking lot.

"Everything that we get will go to them," said Colette Pare-Miller, Pare's daughter. "I have a feeling the community's really going to come together."

— Ryan Pfeil

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