Medford Firefighters Rescue Four Children in Early Morning Apartment Fire
An early morning alarm sent emergency responders to the Cedar Tree Apartments, 2300 East Barnett Road, in Medford. The 5:35 a.m. call initially came in as possible smoke, or fire, in the apartment complex. The first arriving Medford Fire-Rescue engine immediately upgraded the structure fire to a 3rd-alarm, which allowed more resources to be dispatched.
While resources continued to arrive, the initial firefighters saw one unit on the second story well-involved with flames and billowing smoke coming from the external window and door. The fire was active, spreading quickly, to an adjoining second unit on the same floor, blocking the stairwell exit for both units. Additionally, a woman from inside the second unit began yelling for help to get her children out of the burning building. Firefighters immediately began cooling down the doorway to make entry, while an additional arriving engine carried ladders to the upstairs balcony. A male, also in the second unit, grabbed his 2 ½ -year-old and 9-month-old sons and tossed the children down below to the firefighters. Both children were immediately taken to a safe zone. The male then jumped off the balcony injuring his knee.
Meanwhile, the #firefighters working on the doorway knocked down enough of the flames to enter the unit. The firefighters were faced with heavy, dense smoke and additional fire as they began searching for two more children the female reported were still inside. The female evacuated the building while firefighters made entry into a closed-door bedroom. With no visibility, two firefighters were able to feel around the room and locate a 3-year-old girl crouched and crying under the bed and a 5-year-old girl, unconscious, on a top bunk bed. Both were quickly removed from the unit, and one firefighter began CPR on the unconscious young girl while Mercy Flights Inc made their way to the scene. All four of the children and the two adults were transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center. The 5-year-old girl was flown to a Portland hospital via Mercy Flights for extensive burns on her legs and feet, the 3-year-old is being treated for smoke inhalation locally, and all others have been discharged.
Firefighters continued to work on the suppression and containment of the apartment fire as a whole while life-saving efforts were underway. Within fifteen minutes, the fire was deemed knocked down, keeping the damages to a single building on the property, which encompassed ten units. The American Red Cross was activated to assist with temporary rehoming for the impacted residents; the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) sent a bus to keep community members warm as they waited to learn if they could re-enter their homes.
While the #firefight was taking place, Medford Police was not only blocking a stretch of East Barnett Road for emergency vehicles, but assisting with a search for an unaccounted for resident in the initial burning unit. Residents of the apartment complex believed she was inside. Medford Fire-Rescue performed multiple searches of the burning unit and could not locate anyone. Medford Detectives ultimately determined the female had been in a serious auto vs. pedestrian crash on South Pacific Highway in Medford the previous evening. She has been identified, but remains in critical condition. Her potential connection to the fire remains under investigation, alongside the fire’s cause.
It is in these challenging #emergency situations that each agency partner is able to collaborate, work quickly, and shine. If it were not for each department fulfilling their emergency responder role successfully, the outcome would have been much different for all those impacted. We are proud to serve our City of Medford, Local Government and are all pulling for a full-recovery of the two young girls. Thank you to the assisting fire agencies, Fire District 3, Jackson County Fire District #5 IAFF Local 2596, and Jacksonville Fire for dispatching additional helping hands. Finally, a special thanks to our community members who were patient and supportive as we all fulfilled our piece of the puzzle this morning, ensuring everyone’s safety was of the highest priority.
#MFR #CommunityFirst #Honor #Integrity #Service #EmergencyResponderFamily