FOREST GROVE, Ore. (KOIN) — A 3-alarm fire injured 2 people as it spread from one apartment to another and then to the next door business in Forest Grove late Friday night.
The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. in the kitchen of the first floor apartment in the 1700 block of 19th Avenue, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue said.
Flames spread through the 2-story apartment house and reached the attic through the walls. It was difficult for crews to fight because the older home was converted into apartments and there was no access from the first floor to the second.
“They had a real hard time putting this out, because that hole in the roof there, the flames just kept shooting up there,” neighbor Russ told KOIN 6 News.
Firefighters also found the flames spread to a neighboring auto repair shop, but that was put out quickly and damage was minimal, authorities said.
“I was sleeping when my friends called me and said the house is burning and the shop, and I came to look at it and I found all the firemen working to get the fire out,” Mario Ortiz, who owns the auto shop, said.
It took fire crews about 90 minutes to put out the apartment house fire. A resident cooking frozen fries in oil — which is the likely cause of the blaze — was taken to a Portland burn center for treatment of injuries sustained in the fire.
Another resident from a different apartment suffered smoke inhalation but did not require treatment.