At 5:45 a.m. today, 911 received multiple calls reporting a large column of black smoke coming from the West Hills, northwest of the Bethany area.
One of the callers to 911 was the property owner who confirmed over the phone and again on scene that no one was inside the house. The homeowner was staying with a friend nearby and arrived to find at least half of the home on fire.
Firefighters arrived to the 13000 block of Northwest Germantown Road in Multnomah County and found a 6,000-square-foot home engulfed in flames and upgraded the incident to a second alarm.
The location presented multiple challenges including: a long, narrow driveway, thick trees and brush, and no immediate hydrants. Firefighters worked to fight the house fire, while also mitigating the spread of fire through embers into nearby brush.
Two drafting sites were set up at nearby hydrants to maintain a constant supply of water to firefighters. Germantown Road was closed at Old Germantown Road and Skyline Boulevard intersections allowing for water tenders to shuttle water to the scene.
Initial indications from witness statements, burn patterns, and video footage reveal that the fire possibly started in the garage. However, the investigation is ongoing.
TVF&R was assisted by firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue and Hillsboro Fire & Rescue as well as officers from Portland Police and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.
With temperatures in the 100s, humidity levels dropping, and winds picking up this afternoon, firefighters hope that everyone is cautious when using any materials or equipment that can become an ignition source.