Just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue firefighters and other emergency responders were dispatched to a report of a cardiac arrest at a business complex in the 10800 block of Southwest Fifth Street in Beaverton.
Officers from the Beaverton Police Department were first to arrive on scene and encounter one person who was semi-conscious, struggling to exit the building. The police officers noted a second person down on the floor inside the business who appeared to be unconscious. Officers assisted the person who was able to walk to safety and awaited the arrival of responding firefighters.
Firefighters from nearby West Slope Station 65 arrived moments later and initiated a rescue of the person who was unconscious inside the building. Lifesaving measures were immediately initiated by firefighter medics, and the patient was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The patient who was assisted out of the structure by Beaverton police officers was transported to a nearby hospital as well. A third person who was in a different section of the building refused treatment on scene.
Initial gas monitor readings obtained by firefighters indicated a CO (carbon monoxide) level of over 200 ppm. This is a potentially fatal level of the deadly colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. Subsequent readings were found to be at dangerous levels, but eventually dissipated after the building was ventilated. TVF&R’s Hazardous Materials Team responded to the incident to provide technical monitoring and support of the operation. The Hazmat Team monitored the air inside after the building was made safe to enter by Portland General Electric.
TVF&R was assisted on scene by Northwest Natural Gas, Beaverton Police Department, as well as Metro West Ambulance. The cause and source of the CO inside the building remains under investigation.
Since 1989, TVF&R’s Hazardous Materials Team has mitigated incidents involving dangerous chemicals and toxic materials. The team is based out of fire stations located in the Tualatin and Progress areas. It is one of 14 statewide Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office hazardous materials response teams. TVF&R’s Hazmat Team may respond to incidents in all or portions of Clackamas, Lincoln, Marion, Tillamook, Washington, and Yamhill counties.