A one-alarm fire caused considerable damage to one Hillsboro home and light damage to a second home just before noon Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Hillsboro Fire and Rescue responded to a report of smoke coming from a single home at 11:55 am. While en route, dispatchers notified fire crews that flames were now visible and a second home was involved. The one-alarm response brought four fire engines, a ladder truck and additional support personnel totaling 25 firefighters.
The first arriving crew from the Brookwood Fire Station #5 found both homes involved in fire with the heaviest flames coming from 1925 NE Sunrise Lane. Firefighters quickly attacked the main body of the visible fire between the houses and stopped the progression into the second home. They entered the first home and found smoke down to chest level and flames in the kitchen area. After pulling ceiling material to check the attic, they found fire in the attic space and extinguished those flames. The fire was brought under control in about 12 minutes.
The occupants of both residences were not home at the time of the fire and all pets escaped unharmed. The damage estimate for the first home at 1925 NE Sunrise Lane is $75,000. Those occupants will be staying with relatives as they salvage their belongings. The damage estimate is $5,000 for the home next door at 1873 NE Sunrise Lane. The homeowners there will be allowed to stay in their residence.
Hillsboro Fire Marshal John Rinier indicated the fire spread so quickly from the first to the second home because both homes had unpermitted storage structures built between them along the property line. The space between the lean-to shed on the first home and the storage shed beside the second home was approximately one foot.
Fire investigators say the fire started outside at the northwest corner of the 1925 NE Sunrise Lane residence. They are still digging through the fire debris in an attempt to determine an exact cause of the blaze.
Hillsboro Fire and Rescue reminds all citizens to obtain the necessary permits prior to performing any additions or alterations to their home. For more fire and life safety information, visit www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/fire or call 503-681-6166.