Blaze Destroys Oregon Barn, Equipment


An early morning fire on Nov. 1 destroyed a barn in Washington County just north of Hillsboro and disrupted the morning commute by forcing the closure of Cornelius Pass Road for nearly two hours.

Firefighters from Hillsboro Fire and Rescue were initially sent to investigate smoke coming from a building near West Union and Cornelius Pass Road at about 6:15 am.

Crews found a fully involved barn fire at the Bowden Farms, 7775 NW Cornelius Pass Road.

There was an initial report of a person living inside the barn, but residents indicated he escaped unharmed.

Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Washington County Fire District 2 provided additional staffing and water tenders.

The area was not served by a municipal water supply which required firefighters to set up a water shuttle system. Six fire engines, one ladder truck, four water tenders and support staff responded to the incident.

More than 35 firefighters brought the blaze under control in about an hour. They had to contend with keeping the flames away from large fuel tanks in the rear of the barn, live electrical lines leading into the structure, and farm implements inside containing gasoline.

The barn is considered a total loss along with a pickup truck, two older model tractors and a heavy duty lawn mower. Supplies and products for berry farm operation were lost as well.

Estimated losses may exceed $50,000.

Control of the site was turned over to investigators to determine the cause and origin of the fire.