Tips Sought To Find Cause Of Largest Fire In Wilsonville History
Wilsonville, Oregon – Fire investigators are asking you for help to figure out what caused a massive fire in Wilsonville that destroyed 20 homes early Sunday morning. The construction site fire quickly spread to nearby condos, displacing a number of families in the Villebois Community. Witnesses say flames were shooting one hundred feet into the air. A lot of people in the nearby condos were sound asleep at the time the fire broke out. One neighbor was running door to door in a robe trying to wake people up. Others were driving by honking horns trying to wake up their neighbors and alert them to the massive fire. Thankfully everyone made it out safely. KGW reports 20 homes burned, along with 14 cars and trucks, and a handful of street lamps that look melted. Still no word on a cause.
A Go-Fund-Me Page has been setup to help the fire victims.
Update on media staging: Due to smoke, location has moved to Barber Street and Costa Circle West in Wilsonville. Video is from approximately 1:30am courtesy of @LakeOswegoFire pic.twitter.com/RqELuWptp3
— TVF&R (@TVFR) March 31, 2019
Firefighters continue to douse the burned remnants of the apartment building that had been under construction in Villebois. pic.twitter.com/OXFVP9FRZu
— TVF&R (@TVFR) March 31, 2019
Read more from Clackamas Co. Sheriff’s Office
UPDATE (Sunday March 31, 2019, 3 p.m.)
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division is working with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue personnel and an Oregon State Police Investigator to determine the cause of this fire. As part of this investigation we are asking the public, specifically those who live in the area or happen to have been in the area at the onset of the fire to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office tip line (see below) if you recall anything suspicious.
The cause of the fire has not been determined however, we would like hear from residents in the area who have home video surveillance that captured anything suspicious to include vehicles or people in the area during the fire or prior to the start. If you saw something suspicious or discover it after reviewing your surveillance please contact the sheriff’s office via the tip line and an investigator will contact you directly.
At this time there is no new information regarding this investigation to provide to the public. There will be an enhanced law enforcement presence in the area due to this investigation and for security of the scene. This will continue during this investigation.
Public information release regarding this incident will be handled through a cooperative effort between the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.
Anyone who saw something suspicious or has surveillance footage of someone or something suspicious is urged to call the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Non-Emergency Line at 503-655-8211 or leave a tip at https://web3.clackamas.us/
EARLIER (Sunday, March 31, 2019, 7 a.m.)
Three-alarm Fire Destroys Apartment Complex Under Construction and Significantly Damages Nearby Homes
Just after 1am this morning, multiple callers to 9-1-1 reported that a three-story apartment complex under construction in the 11000 block of SW Collina Lane in Wilsonville was engulfed in flames. A bright orange glow and column of smoke could be seen from several miles away.
The fire occurred in the Villebois community where condominiums, apartments and row homes are densely packed together. Within minutes, several neighbors living adjacent the growing blaze reported that the fire was spreading to their homes.
By 1:15 a.m., fire commanders called a third alarm to bring enough firefighters to the scene to evacuate residents, extinguish fires in occupied buildings, control the original fire and protect exposed buildings. In addition to TVF&R, fire crews from Lake Oswego Fire Department, Canby Fire District, Aurora Fire District and Portland Fire & Rescue worked through the night. The fires were considered under control around 4a.m.
Firefighters will remain at the site through Sunday morning to keep the burned pile of debris cool and make sure hot spots don’t flare up at nearby homes that were burned. At least twenty occupied condominiums sustained significant fire damage or will be considered a total loss. Dozens more had blown out windows or siding damage due to the intense radiant heat from the original fire. An additional construction shack, some construction equipment and approximately 14 cars and trucks were destroyed.
Many people were displaced because of this fire. Fortunately, none were injured. Those who aren’t staying with friends or family are being assisted by the American Red Cross who provides temporary housing and vouchers for food, medicine or other necessities. So far, approximately 25 people were being helped at the scene.
Fire investigators have begun the extensive process to try and determine where and how this fire started. They will continue conducting witness interviews, examining physical evidence and evaluating video surveillance footage. In addition to partner fire agencies, TVF&R is grateful for assistance from the American Red Cross, the City of Wilsonville, Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency (9-1-1), Wilsonville PD (Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office), PGE, NW Natural, and Clackamas County.