Fire damages building on old Tualatin Elementary property
The buildings have not been used by students since last fall
TUALATIN - Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue officials are still investigating the cause of a two-alarm fire which damaged a vacant 3,300-square-foot building at the old Tualatin Elementary School site Thursday afternoon.
Tigard-Tualatin School District Superintendent Rob Saxton was on site as firefighters continued to douse the charred brick and wood exterior of the building.
TVF and R spokesperson Karen Eubanks said that a caller had reported seeing smoke coming from one of the old elementary school buildings. Firefighters responded about 2:14 p.m.
A second alarm was sounded once firefighters arrived on the scene and saw that the fire had started on one of the building's sides near a wooden breezeway, which was connected to a second building. The fire was concentrated along the roof.
Eubanks said the second alarm was called as a precaution to ensure the crews had enough resources in case the fire spread. In total, 40 firefighters responded to the scene.
The fire was under control by 2:36 p.m., Eubanks said. No one was in the two buildings at the time and no injuries were reported. The fire did not damage the site's historical Gerald Avery Building.
'We used to teach in that building,' said Tualatin resident Pamela Rossio as she and two other retired school district staff members watched fire crews. 'It's a shame to see it boarded up.'
Rossio, who taught at the school for 18 years, said the building that caught on fire was once a covered play area that was later converted into a building with two classrooms.
The old Tualatin Elementary School buildings have not been used for students since last fall when students who were enrolled for the new Alberta Rider Elementary School were waiting for their new school to open.
The Tigard-Tualatin School Board has decided to sell the old Tualatin Elementary School property, which includes 12 acres of land and the buildings.
Saxton, who was on his way back from a meeting in Salem when he heard a radio broadcast about the fire, said he did not think the fire damage to the old building would have any impact on the sale of the property.
There was no immediate estimate of the cost of damages to the building.