Smoker carelessness is blamed for a fire in a garage that caused $14,000 worth of damage to a Hillsboro home Tuesday evening.
The one-alarm fire forced the family living there to find shelter elsewhere.
Hillsboro Fire & Rescue investigators say an occupant of the home admitted smoking in the garage prior to leaving to run errands. The area where the smoking occurred several different items that were all combustible.
According to Hillsboro Firee & Rescue, Arthur Tacleb, 52, called 9-1-1 at 6:57 p.m. on Jan. 15 and told operators his home in the 1600 block of Southeast 52 Avenue was on fire. When the first firefighters from the Brookwood Fire Station #2 arrived, they found heavy dark smoke coming from the garage.
The company officer upgraded the response to a full first alarm to bring additional resources. Firefighters cut away the two car garage door to get to the flames and quickly doused the fire before it could spread to the remainder of the home.
In all, 20 firefighters from Hillsboro and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue responded.
Tacleb told investigators he had run an errand and returned home about 45-minutes later. His two dogs and cat managed to escape the home unharmed. No one else was at home at the time.
The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted Tacleb's family with temporary accommodations.
Hillsboro Fire and Rescue reminds all citizens to check your home's smoke alarms monthly to ensure they are working. In addition, citizens should always use a sturdy, deep, non-combustible ashtray to extinguish smoking materials. Keep other combustibles away from the ash tray. Empty ash trays only into non-combustible containers, such as a metal can.
For more information, visit www.ci.hillsboro.or.us/fire or call 503-681-6166