Hillsboro Fire and Rescue
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News Releases
Burn-to-Learn Training in Hillsboro to Provide Firefighters Hands-on Experience - 06/24/16

On Tuesday, June 28, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue will conduct a training house burn at 635 SE 18th Avenue. The Burn-to-Learn exercise will give valuable live-fire training in a residential structure to Hillsboro's newly-hired firefighter recruits, as well as the department's career and volunteer firefighters.

The Burn-to-Learn exercise will begin at 9am when Hillsboro Fire & Rescue training officers set small fires, one at a time, inside the house. Training officers will then accompany firefighters inside to extinguish the fires. The drill will be supervised by experienced, career firefighters and will adhere to strict safety guidelines. Firefighters have ensured that all that remains in the home is normal, non-hazardous building materials. Once the interior training is completed, the house will be allowed to burn in a controlled and safe manner. There will be teams of firefighters at the scene from beginning until all flames are extinguished.

Motorists can expect that traffic on SE 18th Avenue from SE Maple Street to SE Oak Crest Drive will be closed from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue conducts these types of training burns a few times a year. Training Officer Jeff Gurske explains, "Live fire training exercises are especially valuable for Hillsboro Fire & Rescue's newest firefighters by allowing them to witness fire behavior and smoke conditions in a burning structure." Gurske added, "Firefighters are able to learn the capabilities of their equipment and apply tactics in a controlled environment."

The home used in this training exercise was donated by the owner to make way for future construction on the property.

To learn more about Hillsboro Fire & Rescue's Burn-to-Learn training, or to find out how to donate a house for a future Burn-to-Learn, contact Training Coordinator Jeff Gurske at 503-681-3903.
News media wishing to attend can contact Bruce Montgomery at 503-615-6666, PIO pager.


Automatic Sprinkler Douses Early Morning Apartment Fire (Photo) - 06/22/16

Two Hillsboro men can thank automatic sprinklers for containing a fire in their apartment early today.
Washington County 911 dispatched Hillsboro firefighters to an apartment fire at the Palladia Apartments, 2615 NW 194th Terrace in Hillsboro at 5:12 am Wednesday morning, June 22, 2016.

The one-alarm fire displaced residents but caused only minor damage to a 3rd floor apartment. When firefighters from Hillsboro Fire Department's Ronler Station arrived, they found the apartment filled with smoke but no active fire. Firefighters found that a residential fire sprinkler had confined the fire to the kitchen area of the apartment and that no further extension had occurred.
Firefighters shut off the sprinkler, ventilated the apartment and remained on the scene for about an hour vacuuming water from the apartment.

Two adult males who were home at the time of the fire. One of the men told the investigator that he came out of his bedroom to a room filled with smoke, he quickly woke up his roommate then tried to extinguish the fire by smothering it with a blanket before exiting the building.

Hillsboro fire investigator Martin Stapleton determined that the fire was caused by combustible materials being placed too close to a wall heater. Stapleton said, "The automatic sprinkler operated exactly as designed. If it wasn't for them having an active sprinkler system in the unit this fire would have progressed to a much larger fire".

There is no damage estimate at this time. No injuries were reported.

Hillsboro Fire Department reminds the public to keep combustible materials at least 3 feet away for a heat source and emphasizes the benefit of residential fire sprinklers.


Toddler, Family Okay after Sprinklers Snuff Laptop Fire (Photo) - 06/13/16

(Hillsboro, Oregon) -- Automatic sprinklers and a working smoke alarm get the credit for saving a Hillsboro family including a three year old child early Monday morning. Hillsboro firefighters were called to Quatama Crossing apartment complex, 730 NW Autumn Creek Way at 3:45 am to a report of an apartment fire. When they arrived, they found the sprinklers had extinguished a fire in a three year old child's bedroom.

Fire investigators say a laptop left on charge on a bed overheated and ignited the mattress' foam top. A smoke alarm awakened the family and they all escaped unharmed. Firefighters were able to remove the ruined mattress and smoke from the apartment. Damage estimate is about one-thousand dollars.

In talking with the occupants, the fire investigator indicated the adults were able to retrieve the child from her bedroom, leave the apartment, and pull the building fire alarm to alert other residents.

"They did all the right things in response to this situation," said Fire Investigator Kylie Kelly. "They quickly evacuated their apartment and notified others of the fire."

Hillsboro Fire and Rescue advises laptop users to unplug all appliances when not in use. If charging laptops overnight, be sure to leave them on a noncombustible surface or on a cooling pad. Lithium-ion batteries are known to generate high heat when in charging cycle. For more fire and life safety information, visit www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/fire or call 503-681-6166.


Motor Home Destroyed by Fire (Photo) - 06/11/16

Hillsboro, Oregon -- An unoccupied motor home was destroyed by fire Friday night. Firefighters from Hillsboro Fire and Rescue responded at 10:20 pm to a report of a commercial fire at 955 SW Oak Street in Hillsboro. When firefighters from Station 1 arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from a motor home parked in a commercial storage yard. Firefighters rapidly attacked the flames, containing the fire to the motor home and brought the fire under control in about 15 minutes.

The owner of the motor home, 47 year old, Jess Watts, told investigators that he had spent the evening getting the vehicle ready to move to another location. As he was driving away for the night, he looked in his rearview mirror and saw smoke coming from the motor home. Not having a phone, Watts asked a bystander to call 9-1-1 as he attempted to enter the vehicle to fight the fire. Due to the extensive heat and smoke, he was unable to get inside.

Fire investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire. A total of twenty-three firefighters from the Hillsboro Fire Department and Cornelius Fire Department responded to the fire. No firefighter injuries were reported.

Hillsboro Fire and Rescue reminds you to call 9-1-1 at the first sight of smoke or fire and never enter a burning structure in an attempt to extinguish a fire. For more fire and life safety information, visit: www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/fire or call 503-681-6166.