18 Hillsboro Workers Treated for Breathing Battery Fumes (Photos Corrected) (Photo)
(Hillsboro, Oregon) - Eighteen Hillsboro workers were treated for minor injuries early Monday morning as a result of breathing fumes from overheated lead acid batteries. The incident occurred at Cascade Systems Technologies, 23176 NW Bennett Street, shortly before 8 am. When Hillsboro firefighters arrived, they found approximately 50-60 people evacuated from the building and, initially, seven of them were complaining of eye and nose irritations, breathing difficulties and nausea. The incident commander requested a medical task force to bring additional crews along with three Metro West Ambulances.
Firefighters set up triage and determined that none of the employees was suffering any serious symptoms. All who were exposed were advised to be evaluated by physicians. The 17 people who complained of any symptoms were loaded into three ambulances and transported to local hospitals: five to Tuality, five to St. Vincent's Medical Center and seven to Kaiser Westside. An 18th employee had left prior to firefighters' arrival and had driven to a private physician.
Company managers told Hillsboro Fire investigators that several lead acid batteries were placed on a timed charger over the weekend. Apparently, the charger failed to shut off in time and two of the batteries overheated and began producing acid fumes. The batteries were removed from the building. Firefighters checked the building for residual fumes and determined it was clear before allowing the employees to reenter. Cascade Systems Technologies is a contract manufacturer. There was no threat to any surrounding businesses.
Deck Fire Damages NE Hillsboro Home (Photo)
A fire on the back deck of a northeast Hillsboro home caused extensive damage this evening. The blaze was reported to Washington County 9-1-1 dispatchers at 8:15pm. When Hillsboro firefighters from the Jones Farm Station #5 arrived, they found fire inside the garage and from the rear of a one story home located at 1832 NE 9th Avenue.
The crew from Engine #5 quickly extinguished the fire in the garage. Upon entering the home they discovered that the fire had gotten into the attic and a back office space. The crew from the next arriving engine attacked the fire from the rear of the house. Their combined efforts extinguished the fire within fifteen minutes.
The homeowner and his wife and were found safely outside having evacuated the home when they heard the sound of breaking glass caused by the flames. Because the fire started outside the home the smoke alarms inside had not yet sounded. The family will be staying with nearby neighbors.
After interviewing the homeowners and processing the scene for evidence Hillsboro Fire Investigator Joe Ligatich determined the cause for the fire to be improperly disposed of charcoal briquettes placed on the back deck of the home. Damage is estimated at $50,000.
A total of 21 firefighters from Hillsboro Fire and Rescue responded to the blaze. No firefighters were injured.
Hillsboro Fire and Rescue reminds all residents to:
*Allow coals to burn out completely and let ashes cool at least 48 hours before disposing.
*Dispose of cold ashes by wrapping in heavy-duty aluminum foil and placing in non-combustible container. Be sure no other combustible materials are nearby.
*If you must dispose of ashes before completely cooled, place them in a metal container and soak them with water.
For more fire and life safety information, visit: www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/fire
or call 503-681-6166.
Burn Ban Initiated in Hillsboro & Washington Co.
The warm, dry weather has prompted the issuance of a burn ban in the City of Hillsboro and Washington County Fire District 2 (WCFD2). In fact, the burn ban extends across all of Washington County. Hillsboro Fire and Rescue and WCFD2, in conjunction with the Washington County Fire Defense Board Chief and the Oregon Department of Forestry, have issued the ban on burning effective immediately.
A burn ban is declared each year based on weather conditions and the relative fire danger. It will remain in effect until further notice.
The Burn Ban includes:
* All backyard burning
* All agricultural burning
The Burn Ban does NOT include the following:
* Recreational fires (e.g. Cooking fires in a fire pit or barbeque) Persons intending on using fire in this manner should use caution.
* Ceremonial fires or religious fires which require a permit issued by your local fire department.
Backyard burning has been prohibited in Hillsboro since June 15th. Residents who violate the burn ban are subject to fines. Additional information on burning within the city can be obtained from the Burn Line at 503-681-6204. If you plan to vacation in other counties or states, check with the local fire agencies in those areas to determine whether there are restrictions on the use of campfires or off-road recreational vehicles. For more fire and life safety information, visit: www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/fire
or call 503-681-6166.