Just before 9:30 this morning, several callers to 911 reported that an attached garage was on fire at a two-story apartment complex in the 11000 block of Southwest Davies Road in Beaverton. Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) were immediately dispatched to the location.
First-arriving crews from TVF&R found heavy smoke and flames coming from the garage and quickly spreading to residential units above. They upgraded the incident to a second alarm to bring in additional resources and began an aggressive fire attack. Several crews worked to keep the quickly moving flames from spreading to adjoining units. Fortunately, early fire detection devices were in place and functional at the complex, allowing occupants to promptly evacuate the building. Multiple smoke alarms activated, and one of the occupants in the unit above the fire was able to pull a manual alarm, which further alerted residents in the complex to evacuate.
In total, eight units experienced fire, smoke, and water damage, displacing 20 residents. Red Cross has been contacted to help provide temporary housing and other essential needs. Three residents were evaluated for smoke inhalation but chose not to be transported by first responders to a local hospital.
A TVF&R fire investigator has determined the cause of the fire to be accidental and resulting from improper disposal of fireplace ashes. We urge those with fireplaces to dispose of ashes in a metal container with a lid and store the container far away from combustible materials. Keep ashes in the container for a minimum of five days before disposing of them, as ashes can stay hot for several days even in winter weather.
Thank you to Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency (911 dispatch), Portland Fire & Rescue, Beaverton Police Department, NW Natural Gas, Portland General Electric, Red Cross Cascades Region, and MetroWest Ambulance for their assistance on the fire.