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2 + 2 + 2 = three devastating duplex fires

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Rash of blazes hits Forest Grove and Cornelius families over four days


Firefighters from Forest Grove, assisted by the Cornelius, Banks and Gaston fire departments, put out a fire in the 3000 block of Brittany Drive in Forest Grove Friday afternoon, Jan. 22.A duplex fire in Forest Grove last Friday injured one adult and rattled emergency personnel for almost a half-hour as they searched for a young child reported to be inside the burning building.

Just after 2:15 p.m. Jan. 22, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a duplex fire in the 3000 block of Brittany Drive. Firefighters found moderate amounts of smoke and reports that a person was injured from the fire.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which was located in the living room, according to a Facebook post by Matt Johnston of FGF&R. “While this occurred, other fire personnel found the injured adult in a neighbor’s yard,” Johnson said. “The neighbor, a 78-year-old, pulled the injured resident over 120 feet to safety by himself while his wife called to 911.”

Johnston said the injured adult was “very incoherent” but indicated a baby was inside the burning building. “There was also valid information from siblings coming home from school that a child should be home,” Johnston wrote.

After 25 minutes of searching, a relative arrived “with the toddler we had been searching for, resting the nerves of the firefighters working tirelessly for find this child,” said Johnston.

The injured resident was treated at Tuality Community Hospital in Hillsboro for minor burns and smoke inhalation. The family was displaced, along with residents of the adjoining unit, which lost electricity.Firefighters from Forest Grove, assisted by the Cornelius, Banks and Gaston fire departments, put out a fire in the 3000 block of Brittany Drive in Forest Grove Friday afternoon, Jan. 22.

Fire investigators are working with Forest Grove Police officers to determine the cause of the fire. FGF&R was assisted at the scene by the Forest Grove Police Department, Cornelius Fire Department, Gaston Fire District, Banks Fire District and Metro West Ambulance.

Sunday night, Cornelius firefighters responded to reports of another duplex fire — with explosions — on the 2800 block of North Davis Court.

According to Johnston, the home was still smoking when firefighters arrived. They knocked down the fire and searched the attic, where they found a small fire still burning in a corner.

“It’s not uncommon for fires that start inside a home to spread into walls via electrical outlets or ventilation devices and get into the attic space,” Johnston wrote. “Attic fires can be very stubborn to put out and crews may need to remove

considerable amounts of wall and ceiling material, includ-

ing insulation, to get it all

out.”

This fire caused no injuries. But the family — two adults, three children and their pets — have been displaced and are being helped by the Red Cross, which is also helping the family displaced by the Forest Grove fire.

Monday morning, firefighters responded to yet another duplex fire, this time on the 2200 block of Kingwood Street in Forest Grove. According to Johnston, occupants had already fled the unit, which fire crews found engulfed in flames when they arrived. A broken gas line aggravated the blaze and raised it to a two-alarm fire.

Northwest Natural Gas employees were concerned enough about the gas leak that they evacuated neighbors

and firefighters to at least 200 feet away from the scene while they dug a hole in the front yard down to the gas line

so they could cap it off, Johnston said. That took about an hour.

A total of nine residents were displaced by the fire, which investigators believe was started by a candle in one of the bedrooms, Johnston said. A pet was also involved, according to the Red Cross, which is assisting them all.