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20 Aug 2014
21 Aug 2014
Chimney fire damages Helvetia home
An early morning fire forced an elderly Washington County man and his tenant into the cold Thursday.
The fire was reported to 9-1-1 dispatchers just before 5 a.m. When firefighters from Washington County Fire District 2 and Hillsboro Fire Department arrived at 10308 NW Helvetia Road, they found light smoke inside the home and fire inside a wall of a tri-level wood-frame home.
Initially, the owner of the home refused to leave. Firefighters convinced the owner to wait outside in his vehicle while they attacked the fire. They ripped open sheet rock and found fire in the spaces surrounding the wood stove flue and quickly extinguished the flames.
Fire investigators believed there had been long-term pyrolysis or charring of the wood framing surrounding the flue. A hot fire in the wood stove apparently produced enough heat for the framing to catch fire. Firefighters estimate the damages at about $10,000. The occupants will be able to remain in the home.