Family of Eight Escapes Early Morning House Fire (Photo)
Hillsboro Investigator working to determine the fire cause.
A family of eight escaped unharmed in a one-alarm house fire in Hillsboro Wednesday morning. The blaze was reported to 9-1-1 dispatchers at 6:10 and the first engine company to arrive from the Main Fire Station #1 found heavy smoke coming from the open front door of the small home located at 1195 SE Alder Street. Firefighters quickly mounted an attack and brought the flames under control in less than 20 minutes. The family's mixed breed dog was killed in the fire.
Carlos Santos, 52, told investigators he opened the door from the kitchen into the converted garage and saw tall flames and black smoke. He quickly ran through the house waking his family and getting them all safely outside. Solomon Santos, 26, attempted to re-enter the home to save the family dog but his father Carlos would not allow him to go back inside. With everyone outside, a family member called 9-1-1.
Fire investigators determined the cause of the fire to be carelessly discarded smoking materials. Damage estimates are $50,000 to the structure and $30,000 in contents. "This fire could have been contained to the room where it started," said Investigator Martin Stapleton. "Had the home owner closed that door as he left to evacuate the family, most of the heat and smoke would have stayed in that room."
The family had no renters insurance. The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross is working with the family to provide immediate housing, clothing and essential items.
Twenty-one Hillsboro Firefighters responded to the fire. No injuries were reported.
Hillsboro Fire and Rescue urges all smokers to follow these tips - If you smoke, smoke outside. Wherever you smoke, use deep, sturdy ashtrays and make sure cigarettes and ashes are out.
Remember, when evacuating from a fire - ONCE OUTSIDE, DON'T GO BACK IN. Additionally, firefighters urge renters to purchase renters insurance. A landlord's insurance only covers the repair or replacement of the structure, not the contents of the house. Renters face devastating financial loss unless they purchase their own renters insurance.
Fire Chases 30 Residents from Hillsboro Motel--One Injured (Photo)
(Hillsboro, Oregon)- A two alarm fire forced the 30 residents of the Hillsboro Budget Inn into the street Thursday afternoon resulting in one injury. A guest there reported the fire to 9-1-1 dispatchers just after 1:00 pm. When the first firefighters arrived from Hillsboro's Downtown Fire Station #1, they found heavy fire coming from one of the second floor units in the two story, cinder block, residential motel. The firefighters made a quick attack, knocking down the flames in the room of origin but found the fire had entered the attic space. Smoke was pouring from eaves at both ends of the building.
The incident commander called for a second alarm in anticipation of needing additional staffing to deal with any injuries and to address the attic fire. One of the residents approached firefighters with burn injuries. He was transported by Metro West Ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries. The fire was brought under control within 26 minutes of dispatch. Hillsboro firefighters were assisted by crews from Washington County Fire District 2, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, and Cornelius Fire Department.
The flames caused heavy damage to a pair of adjoining rooms as well as smoke damage to several more. Firefighters had to pull ceiling material and cut holes in the roof to fight the fire. Damage estimate is placed at $100,000.
Fire and Police investigators have examined the scene, interviewed witnesses and will be talking to the occupant who suffered the burns in an effort to determine how the fire started. The other 29 residents will be assisted with temporary housing by the American Red Cross.
Hillsboro Fire and Rescue reminds you that you should always have an escape plan no matter where you live. When you hear an alarm, your first action should be to quickly evacuate the structure. For more fire and life safety information, visit www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/fire
or call 503-681-6166.
Photo Caption: HillsboroBudgetInn_5351 - Hillsboro Firefighters finish knocking down the flames at the Hillsboro Budget Inn following a two alarm fire Thursday that injured one and forced another 29 people to relocate.
Photo Caption: HillsboroBudgetInn_5365 - Fire damaged room at the Hillsboro Budget Inn.