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One-Alarm Hillsboro House Fire Leaves Three HomelessSalem-News.com
(HILLSBORO, Ore.) - Three people were left homeless Saturday evening following a one-alarm house fire that damaged their two-story home on NW Glencoe Road in Hillsboro.
Hillsboro Fire & Rescue firefighters were summoned to the blaze at 4:51 pm after the occupants smelled smoke and looked outside to see a passerby pointing to flames on the rear of the house. The first arriving engine from the Downtown Fire Station #1 arrived to find fire coming from the chimney area of the home at 3305 NW Glencoe Road.
They attacked the fire, knocked down the bulk of the exterior flames and entered the home to find some smoke inside. Crews climbed to the roof of the home and removed a portion of the roof to extinguish the remaining flames in the void between the 2nd story ceiling and the roof. Firefighters spent another 20 minutes dousing stubborn hot spots in the home.
The occupant, 44-year old Dan Hettzel, his wife and a friend were in the home at the time. Hettzel indicated he had built a fire in the fireplace earlier in the day. All escaped unharmed. Smoke alarms were installed, but were not a factor since the fire originated primarily on the exterior of the 1940 vintage house.
Fire investigators say the most likely cause of the blaze is a failure of the fire box to contain the fire in the fireplace. The heaviest damage was to the exterior wall and the wood structure surrounding the metal chimney, known as the chimney chase. Damage estimate is $30-thousand. The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross will be assisting the occupants with emergency housing needs.
"This serves as a reminder to anyone with a fireplace or wood stove to have their chimney cleaned regularly and have a qualified technician inspect the appliance to ensure it is in working order," said Hillsboro Fire Public Information Officer Storm Smith. "It's also a good idea to use only seasoned hardwoods and keep your fires to a moderate level."
Hillsboro Police Officers shut down Glencoe Road and diverted traffic for more than an hour because of water supply hoses laid across the street. Hillsboro Firefighters were aided by fire crews from Washington County Fire District #2 at the scene. Cornelius firefighters assisted by covering the Downtown Fire Station and were ready to run any additional emergency calls. For more fire and life safety information, visit: www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/fire or call 503-681-6166.
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