A five-alarm fire that destroyed a vacant hotel on Hayden Island is now considered suspicious.
The historic Thunderbird Hotel was ripped apart by a massive fire on Sept. 2. The hotel is a total loss with damages estimated at $17 million.
Investigators have worked for months to determine the cause. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted local crews with the investigation. The team included explosives specialists, forensic chemists and even a special arson dog.
On Thursday, Portland Fire & Rescue said for the first time the fire is considered suspicious and investigators cannot rule out the possibility of arson.
"I think the talk in the neighborhood, was that the fire was suspicious from the very beginning," said Jantzen Beach resident Carolee Colins. "
Multnomah County records which show the owner, Thunderbird Hotel LLC attention Howard Dietrich, owes more than 1.1 million dollars in taxes on the property for the past three years.
FOX 12 reached out to Dietrich for comment, but he has not returned our calls.
The director of operations at the hotel says they are not prepared to make a comment on these new developments until the investigation is complete.
No potential suspect information was released.
Crime Stoppers of Oregon is asking for the public's help and is offering a reward up to $1,000 in this case.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:51 AM EST2013-12-11 16:51:49 GMT
Heavy freezing fog created icy roadways throughout the Portland area on Wednesday morning. Portland Public Schools - the state's largest school district - announced a two-hour delay and put all buses onMore >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 10:32 AM EST2013-12-11 15:32:49 GMT
The sentence has been handed down for the man responsible for a deadly hit-and-run crash in Hillsboro. Bryan Onderdonk could have taken a plea deal that would have put him behind bars for five years,More >
The sentence has been handed down for the man responsible for a deadly hit-and-run crash in Hillsboro.More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 12:23 AM EST2013-12-11 05:23:25 GMT
A street has turned into a large crime scene in Southeast Portland after a man was found dead Tuesday night. Portland Police say just before 8 PM, officers responding to a shots fired call in the areaMore >
A street has turned into a large crime scene in Southeast Portland after a man was found dead Tuesday night. More >
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:12 AM EST2013-12-11 16:12:15 GMT
Oregon State Police are investigating a deadly crash between a sport utility vehicle and a train. It happened Tuesday morning at a marked crossing just west of Highway 97 near Midland in Klamath County.More >
Oregon State Police are investigating a deadly crash between a sport utility vehicle and a train.More >
The national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa says a man who provided sign language interpretation on stage for Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by scores of heads of state, was a...More >
As one world leader after another paid homage to Nelson Mandela at a memorial service, the man standing at arm's length from them appeared to interpret their words in sign language. But advocates for the deaf say he...More >