Employees, customers, all got out OK; ‘a lot of damage’ done to the restaurant
By Bert Etling, Ashland.news
Everyone got out safely after a fire broke out in the kitchen of the Dairy Queen at Exit 19 on the north side of Ashland on Saturday afternoon, according to first responders and the restaurant owner.
The fire, reported at 3:30 p.m. at 549 South Valley View Road, was put out in about 15-20 minutes, according to Jackson County Fire District No. 5 Capt. Brian Weidman. Firefighters from Ashland Fire & Rescue and Medford Fire & Rescue also responded.
Dark smoke poured from both the rear of the building and the roof in a video posted on Facebook by Saturn Walsh, who happened to be driving by at the time.
“All employees and customers are 100% safe and sound,” Dairy Queen owner Jason Federico said Saturday evening. He said there were three or four employees and a few customers in the restaurant when the fire broke out. He added he was particularly thankful for one customer who rushed to help employees in their unsuccessful attempt to extinguish the fire using extinguishers.
“Jackson County District 5 was outstanding,” Federico added, “very professional.”
There was “a lot of damage,” Weidman said. Cause of the fire is under investigation. Federico said it started in the kitchen.
The Dairy Queen opened in April 2022 on the site of the former Burger King restaurant, which burned down in the Almeda Fire on Sept. 8, 2020.
Email Ashland.news Executive Editor Bert Etling at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text him at 541-631-1313.