Posted on: July 28, 2018
Roof Vent Fire at Washington Square Causes Mall Evacuation
Just before 4 p.m. today, multiple calls to 911 reported flames and black smoke coming from the roof of the food court at Washington Square Mall in Tigard. To ensure the safety of the patrons and employees, quick action by mall management and security prompted a full evacuation of the mall with assistance from Tigard Police.
Firefighters from multiple Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) stations in Tigard, along with the Battalion Chief, arrived within minutes of being dispatched to the scene and found a dark column of smoke coming from the roof of the mall building. Due to the descriptions provided by callers to 911 and significant dark smoke billowing from the roof, the call was immediately upgraded to a second alarm. The upgrade would ensure enough firefighting resources were on scene to quickly access and extinguish the fire, if it had also extended into the mall’s interior.
Firefighters gained access to the roof and extinguished the fire in a grease vent. They then checked for extension inside the food court area, where only minor residual smoke was found. After mall maintenance staff assisted with ventilating the smoke, mall goers were allowed to return to the mall’s first floor only. The food court remained temporarily closed.
Approximately two weeks ago, firefighters from TVF&R Progress Station 53, mall management, and mall security proactively performed a training drill, where the scenario was a fire in the food court area. This is one of many types of training drills performed at Washington Square Mall, to ensure all parties familiarize themselves with the large building and enhance collaboration and coordination skills. This invaluable training from two weeks ago was put to work today, resulting in an efficient and effective response by all involved agencies and mall staff.
The TVF&R investigator confirmed that the fire started in the kitchen of a restaurant located in the food court. No injuries were reported.