Early morning fire damages Hall Boulevard apartments
Police had to persuade one tenant to leave as blaze threatened two-story building
No one was injured in an early morning fire that caused extensive damage to a Beaverton apartment building on Southwest Hall Boulevard on Tuesday.
Several tenants of the Kimberly West Apartments in the 7800 block of Southwest Hall Boulevard called 911 on Tuesday around 3:30 a.m. to report smoke alarms sounding, the smell of smoke and the glow of flames from the two-story, four-apartment structure.
A Beaverton police officer was first to arrive and began to notify tenants that they needed to evacuate. Within seven minutes of being dispatched, firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue's Station 67 arrived to find heavy flames and rolling black smoke coming from a first-floor apartment unit, said Cassandra Ulven, a TVF&R spokeswoman.
With the fire spreading to the upper apartment, crews aggressively battled the fire and searched apartments. Three of the units were already evacuated or empty. Despite several requests by firefighters, one adult male refused to leave his apartment that was filling with smoke and being threatened by the fire burning next door. Police officers were able to remove the man from the increasingly dangerous situation while firefighters continued to fight the fire, which breeched the shared attic space. Earlier reports that a taser was used on the tenant were false, Ulven noted.
Firefighters had knocked down the bulk of flames inside the apartments within 10 minutes, and continued to work for an hour to put out hot spots, mop up and try to salvage tenants' belongings. The fire completely destroyed two apartment units and caused smoke and heat damage to two others. Four adults and one child were displaced, and the American Red Cross responded to help victims.
An investigator was on the scene since early Tuesday morning conducting witness interviews, examining burn patterns and evaluating material evidence.
"At this time, it's unclear what started the fire," Ulven said, "but preliminary findings indicated that it started on a balcony."
No damage estimate was available.
The American Red Cross' Cascade Region office provided lodging, comfort kits, and information about disaster mental health and disaster health services for one adult and left Red Cross door hangers on three apartments for follow-up by disaster team members.
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