Saturday, July 15, 2017

Four Person Staffing Key Factor in Confinement of Two-Alarm House Fire (Photo)


News Release from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue
Posted on FlashAlert: July 15th, 2017 10:56 PM
Downloadable file: North_Plains_House_Fire_3.jpg
Downloadable file: North_Plains_House_Fire.jpg
At 7:30 p.m. this evening, multiple callers to 911 reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the area of NW Highland Court and NW 313th Avenue in North Plains. Callers originally reported a shed, fence and two homes on fire. Upon arrival, crews found one home engulfed with the fire having potential to spread to the neighboring house. The incident was immediately upgraded to a second alarm in order to bring in adequate fire suppression resources.

Firefighters from Station 17 in North Plains arrived in less than four minutes after being dispatched. The crew initiated an aggressive interior fire attack and were able to confine the fire to one home.

Residents of the home were not present at the time the fire was reported and there were no pets in the house. The family plans to stay with relatives. A TVF&R investigator remains on scene to determine the cause of the fire that heavily damaged the house.

Four-person staffing was essential to containing the fire to one home. For safety reasons, it is not advisable for firefighters to enter a burning building, unless there are victims inside, without adequate resources on scene. As of June 1 of this year, TVF&R Station 17 in North Plains and Station 19 in Midway, previously Washington County Fire District 2, along with stations 20 and 21 in Newberg, increased staffing from three to four firefighters. This recent staffing increase allowed firefighters from the North Plains station to access the interior of the home prior to another engine crew arriving, which helped expedite getting the fire under control. Battalion Chief Casey Brown states, "firefighters were able to handle substantial fire conditions because of the capability of a four-person crew."

TVF&R was assisted by Hillsboro Fire and Rescue, Metro West Ambulance and North Plains Police Department.

Photo credit for picture of house with smoke and flames: Matthew LaBonte
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