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Fire crews fight 'pyrolysis,' car fire overnight in Hugo area

(Courtesy: Rural Metro Fire)

Around 10:00 Thursday night, Rural Metro Fire and Grants Pass Department of Public Safety responded to a structure fire in the 3400 block of Quartz Creek Road.

Smoke was coming from the home once crews arrived on scene. The family inside the home was able to get out safely along with their dogs. Investigators found the fire confined to "an area in the floor" because of long-term use of a wood stove.

The stove spread heat through the floor "causing [the floor] to degrade over time." Crews call the process pyrolysis which eventually caused the flooring to start on fire. Rural Metro commended the up-to-date smoke alarms in the home that "would have proved critically important had the fire broke out later after everyone was asleep."

One of the people in the home used a garden hose to contain the fire until crews arrived on scene.

There was smoke damage, but nothing was destroyed.

Early Friday morning, Rural Metro responded to a vehicle on fire on Interstate Five at the Hugo exit.

According to the driver, a mechanical problem caused the car to start smoking coming down Sexton Pass toward Grants Pass and was able to pull off onto the shoulder.

Oregon Department of Transportation arrived on scene for traffic control during the dense fog to keep firefighters safe.


Over the past few weeks, Rural Metro crews on the freeway have nearly been hit more than once due to drivers not slowing down in the fog.

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