Four minutes after being dispatched, Engine 67 arrived to find heavy smoke and flames on the rear side of the home. The crew initiated fire attack, while the crew from Truck 67 initiated a search of the home for any occupants. The crews searched all floors and confirmed all residents had exited the home safely and no injuries were reported. Additional units arrived to assist with fighting the fire and the fire was under control just after 8:00pm.
A Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Fire Investigator interviewed the residents and witnesses of the fire. After review of the scene and interviews, the most probable cause of the fire is a propane torch used by the resident to burn weeds around the exterior of the home. The resident stated that, although he was also wetting down the area with a garden hose, the fire suddenly spread to vegetation next to the home and then ignited the home’s exterior cedar siding. The fire then quickly spread to the home’s roof that was a combination of ceramic tiles on top of cedar shingles. Firefighters spent considerable time removing the tiles and cedar shakes to ensure there were no hidden fires that could reignite. A private company will be responsible for fire watch this evening as a precaution.
The home was being rented at the time of the fire by a male and female adult and their daughter. They have renters insurance.
In all, approximately 35 firefighters, including volunteers, responded to the incident.