Forest Grove Fire battles two fires across town in a matter of h - KPTV - FOX 12

Forest Grove Fire battles two fires across town in a matter of hours

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FOREST GROVE, OR (KPTV) -

Forest Grove Fire crews battled two different fires across town Tuesday night. In both cases they said neighbors played a big role in helping them get things under control.

The first fire happened around 7:00 p.m. off of Springhill Road. Crews believe the two-alarm fire was sparked by some type of mechanical problem with a tractor out in the dry grass.

Crews told FOX 12 they believe the tractor essentially sparked four separate fires that quickly spread from a half acre to ten acres because of the winds.

Since the area is so rural, crews said they had to haul in their own water to get the fire under control. Neighbors with tractors also helped them by cutting lines around the field to contain the flames. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Within minutes after crews knocked that fire out, they were called to another grass fire off David Hill Road. 

Investigators said two teens were out in the rural area, and one of them allegedly lit a firework, sparking a fire instantly. The field is sandwiched between a high school and a church.

Those teens told FOX 12 they didn’t have a phone on them, so they flagged down a car driving by to call 911.

In the meantime, Jake Lewis, whose family owns the property said he was coming home from work and saw the flames.

Lewis, who said he's worked on the farm since he was 12, said he ran toward the flames to try to protect his family’s land.

The farm hand tells FOX 12 he started spreading the hay windrows apart so the fire wouldn’t continue to spread through the field of tall fescue grass seed.  

Once fire crews arrived and took over, they were able to knock the fire out quickly. They credited the quick thinking of Lewis from preventing this fire from spreading any faster.

Fire crews said the teen who allegedly sparked the fire with a firework will likely face Reckless Burning charges and possibly even more serious charges, because it appeared the firework was altered to make it more of an explosive device.

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