At 2:24 a.m. today, firefighters were dispatched to a reported residential fire in the 300 block of Northwest Gina Way near the border of Hillsboro and Beaverton. The Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency received multiple calls reporting an apartment fire, with flames visible from the balcony. One caller reported two occupants were trapped in a bathroom on the second floor, and they could not get to an exit.
Firefighters from Hillsboro Fire & Rescue arrived on scene four minutes after dispatch to find a three-story apartment with fire and smoke visible from the front of the building with all three stories involved. Firefighters quickly made their way to the second floor, locating the trapped occupants. They were evacuated from the apartment and taken to paramedics with Metro West Ambulance who were on scene. The rescued occupants were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Additional firefighters from Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue arrived and worked to extinguish the fire. Specialty-trained truck companies also responded to search the remainder of the structure for occupants and cut holes in the roof to ventilate the structure. The incident commander upgraded the incident to a second alarm bringing additional firefighters to the scene.
The fire was deemed under control at 2:41 a.m. Firefighters remained on scene for multiple hours, extinguishing hot spots and ensuring the fire remained out. In total, three apartment units suffered fire, smoke, and water damage.
A TVF&R fire investigator responded and determined the cause of the fire was due to an unattended lit candle on an apartment balcony.
TVF&R encourages everyone to take precautions when using candles. More than half (56%) of home candle fires occur because some form of combustible material comes too close to the candle.
- Keep candles at least one foot away from things that can burn.
- Keep candles away from areas where small children and pets play.
- Always blow out candles before leaving the area or going to sleep.