TVF&R evacuates residents after smoke billows in halls

A faulty furnace caused the evacuation of a Tigard senior facility Monday night, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

Residents at Pacific Health and Rehabilitation, a senior care facility at 14145 S.W. 105th Ave., were evacuated at about 5:20 p.m. Monday, after smoke began to fill the facility from an unknown source.

TVF&R crews arrived within six minutes and residents had already started evacuating, said Cassandra Ulven, a spokeswoman for the fire district.

“There was smoke in all the hallways and not much of a clue as to the location of the incident,” Ulven said.

About 65 residents and 15 employees were evacuated from the facility for more than an hour as fire crews worked to locate the source of the smoke.

Some of the residents were mobile, but others weren’t, Ulven said. Emergency crews worked to evacuate everyone from the building while other firefighters searched for any potential fires.

After an extensive search of the building, crews found a furnace creating a lot of smoke.

Ulven said the furnace was extremely hot, running at about 350 degrees.

No injuries or flames were reported.

Firefighters shut down power and gas to the furnace and cleared smoke from the building. TriMet provided a bus to keep residents safe and warm, and Tigard Police Department assisted with the evacuation and traffic control.

Residents were allowed to return to their rooms at about 6:40 p.m. The wing of the building where the smoke was located was blocked off. Residents in that wing were moved to other areas of the facility.

Ulven said this type of call is one that TVF&R crews train for regularly.

“With these kinds of calls, more than one thing needs to happen at the same time. The staff of the facility started evacuating everyone safely. Moving people when they are not mobile takes time,” she said.

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