Tigard home destroyed after Monday fire
Cause of blaze still under investigation
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 Tigards Station 51 arrived four minutes later, they found heavy flames and smoke pouring from the houses 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?
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 werent true.
People take this as some kind of drug house, but its 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.