Fire damages Forest Grove home on Christmas Eve - KPTV - FOX 12

Fire damages Forest Grove home on Christmas Eve

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FOREST GROVE, OR (KPTV) -

Fire investigators are searching for the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a home in Forest Grove.

The fire broke out at about 8:30 a.m. Monday at a home off Southwest Dilley Road.

"I got up and I opened the door and Shannon was there crying," said neighbor Thomas Caro. "And she asked for the phone and she called 911."

Smoke was seen pouring out of each side of the home. 

Firefighters arrived on scene within minutes and put out the flames, which were concentrated toward the back of the home, investigators said. 

The homeowner told FOX 12 that his family had just returned home from a trip on Sunday night and were getting ready to celebrate Christmas early this week when the fire broke out.

Based on pictures sent to FOX 12 from firefighters on scene, the family's Christmas tree is still in tact. The family's presents were destroyed by all the soot left behind, investigators said.

Neighbor Raedene Spidal says the fire brought back memories of a fire that broke out inside her own home about 20 years ago.

"It's scary," Spidal said. "I mean, thinking of them. And praying that everything is going to be OK for them."

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but investigators think it started in the kitchen. The kitchen was heavily damaged in the fire.

The homeowner told FOX 12 that his wife went back inside to try to save some of their belongings, but everyone got out safely. His wife and two kids were treated for smoke inhalation but are expected to be OK, he said.

"It's Christmas Eve and this kind of thing happens, especially a family like this. You know, it's just horrible," said neighbor Corey Pollock.

The Cornelius Firefighters Association and Fred Meyer have stepped up to help the family, the homeowner said.

The fire serves as an important reminder that it's never a good idea to go back inside your home if it catches fire, investigators said.

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