Around 1:30 a.m. this morning, firefighters were dispatched to the report of a fire in an apartment unit in the 1000 block of S River Street in Newberg. Newberg-Dundee Police Department was also dispatched to the scene because a family of three claimed to be trapped inside and unable to evacuate out of their unit.
Newberg-Dundee Police arrived within minutes and tried to enter through the front door to help evacuate the tenants but were faced with heavy smoke. They soon found the occupants of the unit getting ready to jump from a second story window around back. An officer caught one of them. Then they drove their patrol car to the backside of the building for the other occupants to jump onto.
Firefighters arrived moments later and performed a search of the apartment unit to ensure all occupants had evacuated. They were able to extinguish the interior fire within ten minutes, preventing it from spreading to any adjacent units.
The tenants were not injured as a result of the fire or jumping but will be displaced, due to fire and smoke damage in their apartment unit. Red Cross will be assisting with temporary housing and other essential needs.
The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental and due to a baseboard heater that ignited a Christmas tree.
TVF&R would like to remind everyone to make sure there are no combustibles within at least three feet of any home heating devices. More information can be found at www.tvfr.com.
In addition to Newberg-Dundee Police Department, Dundee Fire & Rescue was also on scene assisting with firefighting efforts.