At 9:45 a.m. today, firefighters responded to Westridge Meadows Apartments on 18392 NW Chemeketa Lane after multiple callers reported heavy black smoke on the outside of one of the first floor units. The fire spread from the exterior of the twelve unit complex to the interior, then spread rapidly to the second and third floor.
First-arriving firefighters began an aggressive fire attack and quickly knocked down flames on the exterior of the building and then worked their way floor by floor extinguishing the fire. Primary and secondary searches by crews confirmed that all occupants were able to get out. Firefighters worked for nearly 45 minutes to ensure the fire was out by extinguishing hot spots from the roof and pulling ceiling from inside apartments.
All residents were able to exit the complex safely; one person was treated for a non-fire related medical need. Washington County Sherriff’s Office, Portland Fire & Rescue and Hillsboro all assisted on the fire.
A fire investigator has determined that the fire started on a balcony, but it’s unclear exactly how it started at this time. The investigator will continue conducting witness interviews and the fire remains under investigation.
At this time three adults are displaced from six uninhabitable apartment units, firefighter and apartment managements are working to identify other people who may be displaced but were not home at the time of the fire. They are being assisted by the American Red Cross.
The complex was equipped with a fire sprinkler system, which was activated once the fire moved inside the building. When a fire sprinkler system is present, the likelihood of injuries and costly damage is dramatically reduced. More information about fire sprinkler systems can be found at: http://www.tvfr.com/index.aspx?nid=144
For additional safety tips, visit www.tvfr.com.