At approximately 3:30 a.m. this morning, firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Hillsboro Fire & Rescue were dispatched to a fire in a residential neighborhood located at 169th Place in Beaverton. Initial calls to WCCCA 911 dispatch reported that flames could be seen in between two homes where a fence and tree had caught fire.
First incoming crews from Station 64 arrived to find that the flames had spread to the garage of an adjacent house. Firefighters immediately began an aggressive fire attack while additional incoming crews helped search the house to ensure all occupants safely evacuated.
It took crews almost an hour to extinguish the fire that had also made its way into the eaves and attic area of the home. Cedar shake roof shingles also fueled the fire at a rapid rate.
Due to the extensive fire and water damage to the garage and smoke damage throughout the house, the family is temporarily displaced. They have chosen to arrange alternative temporary housing on their own.
A TVF&R investigator determined the fire to be accidental and caused by fireplace ashes that were disposed of in a yard debris container on the side of the house. The ashes had been stored in a separate metal can for over a day, but unfortunately were not completely cooled and ignited the vegetation debris in the container.
Ashes from a fireplace can remain hot for up to five days, possibly even longer. It is recommended that ashes are stored in a metal container that is kept away from any structures and combustibles for at least a week. For more safety tips, visit www.tvfr.com.