Crews battle double house fires in Lake Oswego

Officials say hot weather exacerbates fire conditions, recommends series of tips

The scene of a house fire in Lake Oswego, June 9, 2015 (KOIN)
The scene of a house fire in Lake Oswego, June 9, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As temperatures rise, so does the potential for fires. Portland Fire and Rescue issued a warning Tuesday urging citizens to be extra cautious as summer approaches.

Scene of a house fire in Lake Oswego, June 9, 2015 (KOIN)
Scene of a house fire in Lake Oswego, June 9, 2015 (KOIN)

Dry conditions caused a double house fire in Lake Oswego to spread quickly Tuesday morning. Due to high temperatures in the area, firefighters said they were forced to rotate crews.

A landscaper near 17800 Sarah Hill Lane first noticed smoke in the area around 10 a.m. He started knocking on doors, and helped a woman get to safety.

Firefighters called the blaze a 3-alarm fire, bringing in crews from Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue and Portland Fire & Rescue. Wearing 70 pounds of gear and equipment — combined with the hot outdoor temperatures and heat from the fire — it was a difficult morning for those battling the flames.

“Add that all up and the exertion, and you watch them real close,” Lake Oswego Fire Marshal Gert Zoutendijk said. “We have to pull them out sooner to get that rehab and get them replenished.”

It took about an hour to put the 2 house fires out. Firefighters said they believe the flames ignited in the area right between the homes.

Both homes suffered damage. No injuries were reported in the fire.

Portland Fire & Rescue crews told KOIN 6 News they’ve seen about a dozen fires since the weekend, many of them related to the weather.

If you smoke, firefighters said to be extra careful not to throw cigarette butts in a planter or bark dust. If you’re using an outdoor grill, you should also make sure it’s not up against your home or bushes.

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