No cause determined in fire that destroyed historic house

The cause of a fire that leveled a historic Phoenix house Wednesday is officially undetermined.

Chief Dan Marshall of Jackson County Fire District No. 5 said extensive fire and water damage on the Rose House, located at the corner of North Fifth and Church streets, left investigators unable to pin down an official starting point or cause.

The fire was reported at about 10 a.m., drawing crews from Fire District 5, Medford Fire-Rescue, and Ashland Fire & Rescue to the scene. Firefighting efforts closed the intersection and power was briefly shut  off for surrounding homes. The smoke column was visible from parts of Medford. No one was hurt.

The home, originally known as the Newberry-Rose House, was built in 1908. Gus Newberry and wife Nellie Rose — granddaughter of town founder Samuel Colver — were the first to live there. Owner Martin Bergersen had purchased the property 13 years ago and had done some structural renovations, putting it on the market in 2012. 

— Ryan Pfeil

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