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At 9 p.m. Wednesday evening, multiple calls to 911 were reporting flames coming from the side of a residential multi-unit complex at the corner of 198th Avenue and Alexander Street in Aloha. Bystanders quickly evacuated the tenants living in the unit adjacent to the fire.
First-arriving crews from Aloha Station 62 found a working fire coming from the side of the house and upon removal of the surrounding fence, determined a set of gas meters was on fire. The incident was immediately upgraded to a first alarm, adding more units to the scene to ensure adequate firefighting resources. NW Natural was also dispatched to the scene.
With assistance from multiple crews, including our technical rescue team based out of our downtown Tigard station, a trench was dug to access an underground gas line feeding the meters, allowing NW Natural to crimp the line, which subsequently put the fire out. While this work was occurring, firefighters from Hillsboro Fire kept water on the meters and side of the home to prevent the fire from spreading.
Due to the gas meters being turned off and electric meter being pulled on the unit adjacent to the fire, the three tenants that live in the end unit have been temporarily displaced until repairs can be made. They have opted to stay with friends in the meantime.
A TVF&R fire investigator is on scene working to determine what caused the fire, which is unknown at this time.
TVF&R was assisted by Hillsboro Fire Department and NW Natural. Washington County Sheriff’s Office was also on scene assisting with traffic control while the intersection was closed to all modes of traffic.