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Oct-04-2009 14:50printcomments

Beaverton Apartment Fire Displaces Nine

Though firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within 15 minutes of arrival, the unit involved was completely destroyed and three adjacent units were damaged by smoke and water.

Fire in Beaverton, Oregon 10-4-09
Photos courtesy: Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue

(BEAVERTON, Ore.) - Firefighters responded to reports of a fully-involved apartment fire just after 1:00 a.m. this morning, in the Hunt's Court complex in Beaverton on SW Farmington Road.

Cassandra Ulven with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, says the incident commander, who arrived seconds before the first fire crews, feared the worst when he saw a wall of flames coming from the single-story complex.

"Firefighters initiated an aggressive fire attack from outside the burning unit and simultaneously searched apartments. They were assured by the occupants of the burning unit that everyone was out safe, but firefighters still had to evacuate several neighbors in seven adjacent units," Ulven said. A couple and their two young children, ages 18 months and 8 years, narrowly escaped from the fire.

Ulven says, "While watching television around 1:00 a.m., the couple heard 'cracking' sounds. When they investigated, they discovered their patio fully engulfed with windows breaking and fire breeching into the living room."

Initially, they tried to escape through the front door, but the heat was overwhelming according to Ulven.

"They were able to escape through a bedroom window, but both adults inhaled smoke and experienced minor burns. The children were unharmed and no other tenants or firefighters sustained injuries."

Unfortunately the smoke alarm in the fire unit had recently been disabled. "Had the parents been asleep when this fire broke out, we could have had an extremely tragic outcome," stated Ulven.

"We are so glad this family was able to escape from the fire, but they have lost nearly everything they own." Though firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within 15 minutes of arrival, the unit involved was completely destroyed and three adjacent units were damaged by smoke and water.

With the assistance of the American Red Cross, Beaverton Police Department, and TriMet, displaced residents were kept safe and warm in a nearby bus for over an hour while firefighters doused hot spots and mopped up.

Ulven says tenants in four units were able to return to their homes. Nine displaced residents are being provided help with lodging and immediate needs such as food, clothing, medicine and counseling.




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