Fire Burns Under Roof of Oregon High School

A multiple alarm fire damaged an occupied high School in West Linn, Ore. on Oct. 8.

At 2 p.m. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue (TVF&R) Engine 58 was called to West Linn High School to check a reported extinguished shrub fire. On arrival, the crew determined that the shrub was extinguished.

Although it was initially believed that the fire was confined to the shrub, a West Linn Police School Resource Officer and the TVF&R crew noticed smoke coming from the eaves and determined that the fire had extended into the building.

Additional TV&R crews, as well as crews from Lake Oswego, Portland, and Clackamas County, were called to the scene to assist in helping extinguish the fire which had snaked its way into a multitude of unsprinklered void spaces in the attic space above the gymnasium.

The fire prompted the evacuation of approximately 1,500 students who attend West Linn High School.

Firefighters spent over two hours opening up ceilings and walls, and cutting holes in the roof to identify and extinguish hidden fires, and remove devastating heat and smoke from the building.

The fire was placed under control at 4:23 pm.

A TVF&R investigator said the fire was started by a spark from a welder working near an arborvitae shrub on the back side of the school.