Crews battle hotel fire, brush fire in cooling weather - KPTV - FOX 12

Crews battle hotel fire, brush fire in cooling weather

Posted: Updated: Jul 11, 2015 01:57 AM
The brush fire that sparked in Gresham Friday. The brush fire that sparked in Gresham Friday.
A section of burned fence in a Gresham brush fire Friday. A section of burned fence in a Gresham brush fire Friday.
The Shilo Inn damaged by fire in Beaverton Friday. The Shilo Inn damaged by fire in Beaverton Friday.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

It may be cooling down outside, but two separate fires in the Portland metro area Friday prove that the fire danger is still heating up as it’s now been 36 days since any measurable rain.

Firefighters say a cigarette tossed into bark dust sparked a fire at the Shilo Inn near Canyon Road and SW 97th Avenue in Beaverton around 4:00 a.m. Friday.

Firefighters arrived to find flames crawling up the side of the hotel and several people evacuated.

“I could see flames from my window, we were on the third flood” said one guest, visiting from California.  “We evacuated the building as soon as the alarm went off.”

Investigators believe it started from a cigarette tossed into bark dust, which spread to bushes and then the side of the building.  Nobody was hurt, but the exterior wall has major damage and eight guest rooms have smoke damage.

On the other side of the metro area Friday, a roughly 10,000 square feet brush fire came dangerously close to homes in Gresham.

“I heard somebody scream and yell when I was outside on my porch, someone screamed fire,” neighbor Michael Magar said.

The fire broke out around 3:00 pm. Friday on a trail near NW Battaglia Avenue and NW 1st Drive.

“I just ran down and grabbed the hose and did what I could over the fence,” Neva Roessler said of her efforts to spray the fire down with a hose from her balcony.  “[A firefighter] said, ‘You have to evacuate the house, it’s right there by you,’ so I grabbed my dog and got in the car.”

Two doors down, the fire burned part of a back fence.

“A branch in our backyard started to catch on fire but they must have gotten it in time,” said Adam Elliott, who is moving out of the unit with his wife and kids.  “It’s kind of nerve-racking.”

People living in a nearby apartment complex were worried they might have to evacuate too, and watched as firefighters got it under control.

“You’d see a few embers shoot out and I was afraid it was going to catch the grass across the trail on fire because that would have literally gone straight to our apartment,” Lacey Jones told Fox 12.

Firefighters say the cause of the fire is undetermined at this point.  Nobody was hurt.

Neighbors hope the cooler weather doesn’t give a false sense of security about how dry the fuels in our area really are.

“Without the rain, clouds don’t do any good,” Roessler said.  “Not when we’we've had a drought like this.”

Copyright 2015 KTPV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.