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Jan-09-2008 10:24printcomments

Investigation Concludes on Historic Nyberg House Fire

The home, considered to be a complete loss, has been turned back to the owners and their private insurance company.

historic Nyberg house
A TVF&R firefighter stands in front of the historic Nyberg house as flames scorched the home of one of this Oregon city's founder. Photo courtesy: Karen Eubanks/TVF&R

(TUALATIN, Ore.) - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue fire investigators have concluded that a fire that destroyed a historic home in Tualatin last week likely began in an upholstered chair on the west end of the first floor.

"The determination came after investigators were granted very limited and quick access to the building late yesterday," Fire Spokesperson Karen Eubanks said.

"Once we pumped out the five feet of standing water in the basement, our investigators were able to look inside the house and pinpoint a very small, and what they perceived to be, low risk area that they wanted to focus on."

The District's Technical Rescue Team was brought to the scene to closely inspect the stability of the building and investigators were granted a limited time to survey the scene and take photographs under their technical supervision.

Eubanks added, "Our investigators were in and out of that building in 10 minutes."

Investigators found burn patterns on the first floor and a burned upholstered chair that had fallen into the basement, directly beneath the burn hole in the floor.

Eubanks says it is believed that the fire likely smoldered for some time and then spread throughout the house before being detected by passing motorists.

"Although the exact cause of the fire is not known, investigators believe that the fire was accidental in nature and not intentionally set to harm or prompt financial gain."

The house had been known to have had transient activity and the fire may have been due to smoking material, a warming fire, or candle.

The home, considered to be a complete loss, has been turned back to the owners and their private insurance company.

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