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Barbecue fire ignites West Linn home

Fire started in a barbecue on the back deck
by: Submitted photo 
More than 20 firefighters from West Linn, Lake Oswego and Oregon City respond to a house fire in West Linn. No one was injured when a barbecue ignited a the three-story house Aug. 10.

A barbecue located less than a foot from the side of a three-story West Linn home caused a fast-moving fire Wednesday night.

No residents were injured.

Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue's Bolton Station 58 arrived at the home - located at 17725 Hillside Drive - to find the occupants outside and black smoke billowing from the back deck. A resident of the home called 911 at 8:07 p.m. Aug. 10 to report the fire, which quickly spread to the side of the home and to the attic.

Additional nearby firefighters from West Linn, Lake Oswego and Oregon City also responded and worked quickly to extinguish flames on the home's back deck and inside the structure.

The fire was under control within 30 minutes.

'Gas barbecues are not inherently dangerous, but anytime you work with fire, there are risks,' said Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Brian Barker in a press release. 'We recommend that you place your gas grill well away from the side of your home. If you have a back yard, roll it out into the back yard before you use it. Do not use your grill close to the side of your home or under the eaves of a structure because the flames can spread very quickly.'

Stay safe

TVF and R reminds barbecue owners to check your grill and tank for leaks after replacing a propane tank.

Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose and connection to the grill. A propane leak will release bubbles. If your grill has a gas leak - determined by smell or the soapy bubble test - and there is no flame, turn off the gas tank and grill and contact a professional for service.

Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year and whenever you change bottles.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 7,700 home fires caused by grills or barbecues each year between 2004 and 2008, including an average of 3,200 structure fires and 4,500 outside fires. These 7,700 fires caused an annual average of 13 civilian deaths, 120 reported injuries, and $70 million in direct property damage.

Gas grills were involved in an average of 6,200 of those fires each year and a leak or break in a propane line or tank was the leading factor contributing to gas grill fires.