Unattended wood-burning stove is likely cause, officials say

by: TVF&R - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews clean up after a home in the 11400 block of Southwest Roberts Court in Tualatin caught fire Monday evening
A home that caught fire in a Tualatin subdivision Monday night was likely caused by the house's wood-burning stove, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

A fire investigator said Tuesday that the blaze likely started when hot embers from the house's wood-burning stove landed on top of the home's cedar-shake roof.

The blaze began at about 5:05 p.m. Monday at the home in the 11400 block of Southwest Roberts Court, near Hazelbrook Middle School.

Firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue's Station 35 in King City arrived on the scene within three minutes and found the home on fire.

The flaming roof was compromised in several places, fire district officials said.

Firefighters attacked the fire from above, using one of the fire engine's ladders, while others battled the blaze from within the home.

Crews were able to contain the fire in about 20 minutes, but strong winds and the house's cedar-shake roof made battling the blaze difficult because the fire could have spread to other nearby homes, officials said. by: TVF&R - An aerial view of the house shows damage to the roof. The fire likely started after hot embers from an operating wood-burning stove landed on the house's cedar shake roof.

The homeowner and pets were not in the home at the time the fire started. However, the wood stove was operating.

The fire caused an estimated $75,000 worth of damages.

Fireplace safety is paramount, especially with low temperatures expected in the next few nights, officials said. A fire should never be left unattended, and chimneys and flue pipes should be regularly cleaned and inspected.

Officials advise residents to make sure the damper is open, the flue is unobstructed, and smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order before lighting a fire.

Ashes can remain hot for several days. Cooled ashes should be disposed of in a metal container with a tight fitting lid and stored far away from combustibles.

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