Hillsboro Fire and Rescue
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News Release
Early Morning Garage Fire Attributed to Gasoline Vapors (Photo) - 05/11/17

At 6:35 this morning Hillsboro Fire Engine #6, from the Cherry Lane Fire Station was dispatched to a residential fire on the 5900 block on NE Ketterling Street.
The caller told the 9-1-1 operator that a pressure washer in her garage was on fire. Before Engine #6 arrived, the caller reported that she had used a fire extinguisher and was successful in putting the fire out. When the crew from Engine #6 entered the garage they found the fire extinguished and a light haze of smoke. The fire was contained to the pressure washer with no damage to the structure.

The home owner told the investigator that she had entered the garage to get a ladder so that she could change a low battery in one of her smoke alarms. As soon as she opened the door she saw the pressure washer in flames. After calling 9-1-1 she grabbed the fire extinguisher that is mounted on the garage wall and used it to extinguish the fire.

The investigator learned that the new pressure washer had been filled with gasoline the day before and parked next to the hot water heater. During the night, vapors from the fuel collected in the enclosed garage. As the family began their morning routine, the water heater turned on igniting the vapors and catching the pressure washer on fire.

"It is fortunate that the home owner had a fire extinguisher in the garage", said Fire Investigator Charlie Marble. "Had she not put that fire out as quickly as she did, the damage could have been extensive", he added.

No injuries to the home owner or firefighters were reported.

Hillsboro fire reminds residents to limit your risk of fire by keeping gasoline outside in a detached garage or shed. Never keep gasoline anywhere near an appliance that uses natural gas or propane. This includes water heaters and furnaces. We also recommend that residents have a fire extinguisher on each level of the home and one in the garage.