Cause of Marie Callender's Fire determined

Fire officials say an "electrical failure" was the cause of a blaze that tore through the Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery last Saturday.

The fire was reported just after 3 a.m. Saturday at 1528 Biddle Road in Medford. The blaze caused about $2 million in damage to the building and contents inside. Fire officials said the building was constructed in 1984 and was not protected with an automatic sprinkler system.

"If the restaurant was built today, it would be required by code to be protected with an automatic sprinkler system, which most likely would have suppressed the fire, and the business would be open after a short cleanup period," Medford Fire-Rescue said in a release.

Crews from Medford Fire-Rescue and Jackson County Fire District 3 arrived on scene to see the building fully engulfed in flames and half the roof collapsed. Responders called for a second alarm, bringing additional crews from neighboring jurisdictions, including Jacksonville.

The blaze displaced the restaurant's 25 or so employees, but other Medford cafes and restaurants responded with quick job offers, restaurant officials have said. The restaurant is expected to reopen, though an exact timeline has not been set.

Officials were not immediately available for additional comment.

— Ryan Pfeil

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