Investigators say Bethany fire is suspicious

The house was unoccupied

A vacant, under construction home was damaged by fire in the Bethany area. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Detectives are investigating a fire that destroyed an unoccupied house under construction in North Bethany Tuesday night in the same neighborhood where 3 homes were destroyed under similar circumstances in August.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is investigating a suspicions fire in Bethany on Nov. 21, 2017. (WCSO)
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suspicions fire in Bethany on Nov. 21, 2017. (WCSO)

Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue crews put out the fire on NW Catalpa and NW 168th, which was reported around 8:15 p.m. Crews got the fire under control and kept it from spreading to other nearby homes, some of which are occupied.

“We have 3 fires now with very similar circumstances, same time of day, at night, same status, and all within blocks of each other,” Deputy Jeff Talbot said. “And that obviously makes it very serious and makes us take it very seriously.”

Washington County Sheriff’s Office arson detectives are working with TVF&R investigators to determine what caused the suspicious fire. Firefighters said the house — which was in the final stages of construction — is a total loss.

“We just got done siding the house not long ago,” contractor Peter Larionov with Silverside Inc. said. “It’s not even painted I don’t think.”

Larionov’s company does siding for the whole subdivision and hopes investigators can find whoever is responsible for the fires.

“These houses are well build, they don’t just catch fire by themselves,” he said.

The suspicious fires in August happened less than 2 weeks apart and investigators at the time did not know for sure if there was a connection. The first fire, on August 16, destroyed one home and took 80 minutes extinguish. On August 27, 2 other newly-built houses were destroyed.

A vacant, under construction home was damaged by fire in the Bethany area on Nov. 21, 2017. (TVFR)A vacant, under construction home was damaged by fire in the Bethany area on Nov. 21, 2017. (TVFR)
A vacant, under construction home was damaged by fire in the Bethany area on Nov. 21, 2017. (TVFR)