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Fire sprinkler saves restaurant

Firefighters extinguish flames at La Provence


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: GERT ZOUTENDIJK, LAKE OSWEGO FIRE DEPARTMENT - Firefighters had to respond in the middle of the night to put out a blaze at La Provence Restaurant, where a fire in a wall threatened major damage.A sprinkler system and efficient firefighters were able to limit damage at a popular Lake Oswego restaurant early Tuesday morning.

La Provence Restaurant, at 16350 Boones Ferry Road, sustained an estimated $25,000 in damage from a blaze that occurred in the middle of the night, and it will most likely be closed for at least a week.

But things could have been far worse. A single sprinkler head kept the fire in check until firefighters were able to completely extinguish the flames.

“Without this sprinkler system, the fire damage would have been way worse than the water damage it did,” Lake Oswego Fire Marshal Gert Zoutendijk said.

Firefighters were alerted to an alarm at La Provence at 3:15 a.m. Tuesday. As soon as the first truck, Truck 211 from the Jean Road Fire Station, arrived at the scene, the crew saw smoke coming from the roof, and so more trucks were called to respond.

While more fire units were en route, the crew of Truck 211 evaluated the situation, finding the restaurant filled with smoke. The firefighters came up with a plan of attack. When they went inside, it took them 20 minutes to locate the source of the smoke, which was a fire inside of a wall next to the kitchen.

The Lake Oswego Fire Department was assisted by the Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

Zoutendijk said the probable cause of the fire was heat from a stove that was conducted through a wall and set the wood studs aflame.