Fire in Downtown Ashland Affects Community

Photo by Tiffany Olin/KTVL

On May 11, 2022, a fire broke out in the Ashland Plaza above Little Tokyo and Mountain Provisions, resulting in the destruction of two apartments and three offices. Luckily no one was harmed despite the damages caused to the buildings. One cat, Mimi, was rescued from the blaze by firefighters and returned to its owner. 

The Siskiyou was able to interview an eyewitness to the fire, Jill Dahle, a manager at Louie’s of Ashland. According to her, the fire started around 1:40pm and was contained within the same hour it started, but firefighters were still pulling flaming pieces of debris from the apartments for a few hours after that. Dahle said that first responders were on the scene almost immediately and Dahle “was so impressed by the efficiency of our first responders, as the speed of their arrival shows how much they care about our community.”

The fire happened just a couple of apartments down Calle Guanajuato from where Dahle was working at the time, and she could smell the smoke and hear the fire alarms going off in both Little Tokyo and Mountain Provisions. Dahle was concerned about what was happening and could see the same concern on the faces of her customers. “I was nervous about the wellbeing of the individuals in the apartments as well as the fellow businesses that were about to be affected,” stated Dahle. The first priority of Dahle and her fellow Louie’s employees was the safety of their customers. They moved everyone away from that side of the patio, and ultimately closed down to ensure their customers were safe and could give the first responders space to do their jobs. 

Dahle did not know the owners of the apartments or offices that were consumed in the fire, but she did hear that the entirety of what the fire covered was completely destroyed despite the valiant attempts to save them by the Ashland Fire Department. 

Because she is a manager at Louie’s, Dahle stayed late with a fellow manager to help do some damage control after the fire was taken care of. The power went out on the block and while Dahle was able to speak to Police Officers and Firefighters throughout the afternoon to get updates on the fire, it was still unclear when the power would be turned back on. 

When asked what her thoughts were on how this event would affect the Ashland community, Dahle had some things to say. “I think this event shook the community, but it gave us hope for how much Ashland can rely on our first responders. Ashland Fire Department, Medford Fire Department, and Jackson County Fire Department all showed up within minutes to support the safety and preservation of such a historic part of Ashland. Our community is exceptionally grateful for the efficiency, bravery, and courage the First Responders showed in the plaza.”

Thanks to the efficiency and bravery of Ashland’s own fire department and first responders, the fire was contained quickly.

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