A barn in the rural community of Cherry Grove was completely destroyed by fire Tuesday morning, July 31, according to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, which assisted the Gaston Rural Fire District in responding to the call.
Firefighters were reportedly dispatched to investigate smoke coming from the area of Patton Valley Road and Bates Street in the community west of Gaston at about 10:10 a.m. By the time they arrived, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue said, they found the barn "fully engulfed in flames and collapsed to the ground," with flames spreading to nearby grass and brush, as well as three pine trees.
"In total, it burned about maybe a quarter of an acre, if that," said agency spokesman Matt Johnston. "It spread in multiple directions, but mostly in the direction of those trees and the grass."
Forest Grove Fire & Rescue said firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby homes and additional trees. It reportedly took crews about two hours to extinguish "hot spots" beneath the collapsed metal roof of the barn.
Johnston said the damage was so extensive that firefighters could not determine how the fire started.
No livestock were in the barn at the time and no injuries were reported.
In addition to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Gaston Rural Fire District crews received assistance from Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, the Cornelius Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry.
By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times