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On January 1st, 2019 at about 6:56 a.m., Medford Police and Medford Fire and Rescue responded to a structure fire in the 400 block of W. Clark Street. Upon arrival, officers found two motorhomes and a nearby apartment complex on fire. All of the occupants were determined to be evacuated. The fire was eventually extinguished, but not before causing heavy damage and displacing multiple people.
A criminal investigation was conducted, led by Medford Police Detectives. The investigation determined people were living in both motorhomes, which were parked close to each other, and just feet away from an apartment complex. The fire started from the motorhome parked closest to the apartment, which then spread to the other motorhome and then one of the three apartments.
Witnesses reported that the occupant of the motorhome where the fire started had fled the scene prior to arrival of law enforcement. He was determined to be James Atto, 64 years old. Detectives and officers search for Atto without success.
On January 2nd, 2019, just after midnight, Atto arrived at the Medford Police Department lobby on his own accord. He was interviewed and determined to have intentionally started the fire to his motorhome. The investigation continues as to the motive. He was lodged in jail for three counts of Arson 1st Degree, bail $60,000.