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Attorneys move to temporary office as investigation into suspicious fire continues.

TONY AHERN/MADRAS PIONEER - Flames break out the back windows on the first floor of the Glenn, Reeder and Gassner law offices on Fifth Street in Madras. The suspicious fire started about 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The damage was substantial but the building was saved. The cause is under investigation.
Madras' oldest law firm, Glenn, Reeder and Gassner, is temporarily setting up shop in a new location following a suspicious fire Saturday, which damaged the law office.

Since the fire, which was reported around 6:30 p.m. May 25, managing partner Tim Gassner said Tuesday, "We have not yet been back in the office."

However, he added, "Thanks to the excellent efforts of the local fire department, the night of the fire, we were able to get some computers out and preserve some of our important electronic records — the server and the accounting computer."

According to Capt. Kasey Skaar, of the Jefferson County Fire Department, crews were dispatched to the fire at 507 SE D St., at 6:28 p.m., and upon arrival, "found smoke and flames coming from the first floor of a two-story business on the east side of the structure."

"Units arrived and did a coordinated attack to knock the fire down, then went into the building to check for extension (into other areas)," said Skaar.

The fire caused five windows on the ground floor to break — three on the back side of the building, on the alley side, and two on the D Street side.

The fire affected the southeast corner of the law firm's office, which housed a conference room, library, hallway and vacant office space. The second floor, which is primarily storage, didn't burn, but Gassner said that he's learned that there is smoke and water damage throughout the building.

The fire department is investigating the cause of the fire. "It is a suspicious fire and under investigation," said Capt. Kasey Skaar. "It has been turned over to law enforcement. It appeared to have started in one of the offices in the alley, on the first floor."

The fire department responded with three staff members, 12 volunteers, two engines, one truck and a command vehicle.

Skaar estimated that there is about $150,000 in fire and smoke damage to the building.

In the meantime, Gassner said, "We are setting up a temporary law office at 534 SW Fourth St., which used to be Jefferson County Title, across the street from Erickson's."

Tuesday was the first business day that partners were back after the fire on Saturday. "We're getting our shop sent up," he said, noting that he was back in court Tuesday. "We value our clientele and we'll be responsible to attend to their needs."

The Jefferson County Fire Department was assisted on the scene by Jefferson County Emergency Medical Services, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the Madras Police Department, Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Transportation.


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