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Tigard home destroyed after Monday fire

Cause of blaze still under investigation

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue respond to a house fire along Southwest Tigard Street in Tigard.Fire investigators are still trying to determine what caused a Monday afternoon fire that completely engulfed a home on Southwest Tigard Street.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews were called to the residential fire in the 10000 block of Southwest Tigard Street at about 12:49 p.m.

Neighbors called 911 after a resident of the burning house ran into the street and yelled for someone to call for help.

Power and natural gas had been turned off at the home, residents said, and there was no working phone inside.

Residents were using candles for heat and light.

When firefighters from Tigard’s Station 51 arrived four minutes later, they found heavy flames and smoke pouring from the house’s second story and roof.

According to Lt. Tim Nokes, a spokesman with TVF&R, smoke from the fire was seen as far away as Highway 217.

Smoke and flames were so intense that three people inside the house were unable to get out, Nokes said.

Instead, the three tenants had to jump from a second-story window in order to escape the blaze.

One resident, who is ill, had to be helped out of the window by other occupants of the home before fire crews arrived.

One resident suffered a minor injury after jumping from the window and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation, Nokes said.

“Everything happened really fast,” said neighbor Gladys Concreras, who dialed 911. “The fire caught the house so fast.”

Fire crews had the flames under control in about 20 minutes.

Possible meth lab?

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Darlene Malone pleads with firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue to save her house. Malone's house was completely destroyed by fire on Monday.The home had been flagged by police as having known drug activity in the past, Nokes said, specifically the use — or possible manufacturing — of methamphetamine.

To keep firefighters safe, crews extinguished the fire from outside the building, Nokes said.

“We were not sure the level of (drug-related) activity that had been there,” Nokes said. “So it was just to be on the safe side.”

Stan Harris, who has lived in the home for about a year, said he had heard the rumors about the house, but said they weren’t true.

“People take this as some kind of drug house, but it’s not,” he said.

Fire investigators and Tigard Police searched the damaged home after the fire had been put out, and no evidence of drug manufacturing was found, Nokes said.

Many of the residents suffered from medical conditions and rely on Social Security, said Harris, who served as a caregiver for the residents.

An estimated cost for the damages has not yet been released, but the house was a complete loss, Nokes said.

Firefighters were able to retrieve a treasure chest filled with pictures and memorabilia.

Although the exterior of the chest was charred from the flames, the contents did not appear to be damaged, witnesses said.

The American Red Cross assisted with temporary housing for the residents, Nokes said.

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue haul a trunk from the wreckage of a burning home in Tigard. The trunk contained photos and other memorabilia that survived the fire.

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Darlene Malone looks through a trunk full of pictures and other memoirs saved from a fire in her home on Southwest Tigard Street.

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue respond to a house fire along Southwest Tigard Street in Tigard.by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Friends comfort Darlene Malone as firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue extinguish flames from her home in Tigard. The house was completely destroyed.

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