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(Hillsboro, OR) Five Hillsboro people escaped injury after the roof collapsed on a warehouse building in which they were sleeping. The incident occurred about six Thursday morning at 560 SE 4th Avenue. Hillsboro Police and Hillsboro Fire responded to automatic alarms coming from the building. When they arrived, they found the three adult males and two adult females had escaped unharmed. They were wet from dealing with flooding caused by broken fire sprinkler pipes. Hillsboro Police officers took them to police headquarters to warm them and arrange for Red Cross clothing and housing assistance. At first, responders thought the five were associated with the Bodega El Campesino produce distribution company which occupied the majority of the eight thousand square foot building. Upon further investigation, it was learned their unnamed clothing alteration business occupied only a small office in the corner of the building. The occupancy was not permitted as a residence.
The incident commander cordoned off the area and requested utility companies to respond. Portland General cut electricity to the building first to eliminate any spark hazard. Northwest Natural Gas crews shut off the gas leaking from damaged gas heaters. Hillsboro Water crews then shut off the water service to the buildings. The damaged fire sprinklers had produced a large volume of water escaping from the building.
Hillsboro Building Department engineers assessed the integrity of the building and determined the east wall was in danger of collapse. The roof apparently failed and collapsed from the west side creating a visible bowing of the east wall. The building is owned by Gene Zurburgg Construction. Damage estimate is $250,000.
Roof collapse shot from Hillsboro Fire Department's ladder truck.
Hillsboro, OR - A family of eight are left homeless after a one-alarm house fire in Hillsboro Wednesday morning. The blaze was reported to 9-1-1 dispatchers at 7:30. The first engine company to arrive from the Jones Farm Station #5 found smoke coming from the open attached garage of the small home located on NE 28th Avenue. Upon entering the garage firefighters saw flames coming from the kitchen window, active fire in the kitchen and the front of the house filled with smoke. They quickly mounted an attack and brought the flames under control in less than 20 minutes. Firefighters found the family's two mixed breed dogs inside the house and worked to resuscitate them before the dogs were transported to a near-by veterinary clinic. The dogs died as a result of the fire.
Angela Camas, 15, told investigators she was lying in bed and heard the sound of glass breaking. She opened her bedroom door, saw dark smoke and felt the heat from the fire down the hall. She quickly alerted her sister-in-law who was asleep in the adjoining bedroom with her 2 year old daughter. Angela also alerted another niece who was sleeping in a third bedroom. All four evacuated the house through their bedroom windows. Once everyone was safely outside, Angela called 9-1-1.
Fire investigators determined that the fire started in the kitchen and the cause of the fire to be a toaster. Damage estimates are $50,000 to the structure and $30,000 in contents. "This family did a great job evacuating this house," said Investigator Miguel Bautista. "The used their windows to get out and kept the doors to the bedrooms closed keeping them free of smoke damage."
Twenty-two Hillsboro Firefighters responded to the fire. No injuries were reported,
Hillsboro Fire and Rescue reminds you to have and practice a home fire escape plan. That means know two ways out of every room in your house and have a designated meeting place a safe distance in front of house. And remember, when evacuating from a fire -- ONCE OUTSIDE, DON'T GO BACK IN.