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No one hurt in worst of July 4 blazes

There were no injuries throughout the night
by: Jaime Valdez Fireworks set off by neighbors have been blamed for starting this house fire on Southwest Crater Loop in Beaverton the night of July 4.

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue crews responded to 14 fires Monday night, including one that devastated a Beaverton home, proving that here, like the rest of America, the Fourth of July is one of the busiest nights of the year for fire personnel.

There were no injuries throughout the night.

Between the hours of 8 p.m. and 1:08 a.m., TVF and R responded to a number of calls from Tigard to Beaverton. The largest fire was called in at 11:05 p.m. at the 11700 block of Southwest Crater Loop in Beaverton. Firefighters arrived to find two burning vehicles and a heavy fire at the front of the home, spreading to the attic.

Twenty-five firefighters responded and brought the flames under control in about 20 minutes.

The family of four escaped from the home unharmed and are staying with friends and family. The father of the household told TVF and R officials that they were in bed when they noticed an orange glow through the window, only to discover it was a wall of fire.

Unable to leave through the front door, the entire family managed to exit through the back and crossed the street to neighbor Judy Doyle's residence while firefighters continued to work.

'From the bottom to the top, just orange, pure flames,' Doyle said. 'I thought they were all dead. A couple more minutes and it would have been too late.'

According to Doyle, homes throughout the entire street were setting off fireworks until about 11 p.m. Investigators have determined that fireworks were the most probable cause of the fire, which has resulted in an estimated $150,000 worth of damage.

'All the little girl said when they came over was, 'Oh no, Hammy,' and I assumed she was talking about the hamster,' Doyle said.

'The mom just said, 'Sorry.' I mean, you're not gonna go back for a hamster. The blinds were melted, how is a hamster cage gonna survive? And the next day? They find the freakin' hamster, alive.'

Other fires Monday night included burning bushes, a deck, several roofs and a vehicle.

TVF and R officials say they expect to see more fires as a result of individuals setting off leftover fireworks.