Forest Grove residents escape apartment fire, lose almost everyt - KPTV - FOX 12

Forest Grove residents escape apartment fire, lose almost everything

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FOREST GROVE, OR (KPTV) -

Terrified tenants in Forest Grove said they woke up to a nightmare, after a fire destroyed their apartment overnight.

Crews said the large three-alarm fire started in the kitchen, where a woman was using oil to cook frozen french fries.

It was just after 10:30 p.m. Friday when Earl Hagdon watched his home go up in flames.

He said his wife walked away from the kitchen where she was cooking on the stove when the fire started.

“It was just like in the snap of a finger, this house went from a little fire to an inferno in seconds, I mean literally seconds,” said Hagdon.

Hagdon said after he made it safely outside, he instantly thought of his upstairs neighbor Brett Curry.

“The first thing I did when I ran out of this house was I ran around the other side and just beat on his door, yelling and screaming and he heard me and got out,” said Hagdon.

Other than being treated for smoke inhalation and having a couple burn marks on his neck, Curry made it out of his apartment safely.

“Earl saved my life, he did, that and the man upstairs,” said Curry. “If it wasn't for those two, I wouldn't be here.”

Workers next door are feeling the loss, too. The flames had jumped to the roof of Ortiz Auto Repair when firefighters arrived.

The owner said it'll be months before their roof is repaired and tools are replaced.

Hagdon said he lost everything in the fire except the one item that is nearest to his heart.

“I just lost my dad a couple of months ago and I just got his ashes,” said Hagdon. “And they stood right next to the bed, didn’t want to lose him twice.”

Hagdon said he, along with others, will help rebuild the apartment complex.

“I’ll be back here,” said Hagdon. “There's no other place that would be home.”

Hagdon said he’s lived int he apartment for 25 years, while Curry said he moved in only two weeks ago.

A GoFundMe page was created for the victims. For more information, click here.

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