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Investigators Announce Cause of Eastside Foursquare Church Fire


Posted: April 28th, 2010 5:38 PM

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) fire investigators, working with U.S. Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), announced today that a cause of the fire at the Eastside Foursquare Church has been identified.  

Investigators determined that the fire originated in a second-floor room called the Drama Room.  The Drama Room was used to store props and costumes.  Ignition involved an incandescent clamp light and stored materials in the Drama Room.  

The investigation began immediately after the fire was extinguished and continued throughout the next two days and nights.  As the result of the investigation, investigators now estimate the loss of property and contents to be near $850,000.

PF&R Investigations activated members from the Metro Fire Investigative Task Force (MFIT) who conducted more than 50 interviews in the two days since the fire.  Interview teams included members from PF&R, ATF, Oregon State Police, Hillsboro Police, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.  MFIT responses provide resource and information sharing to reciprocating agencies.

Fire broke out at the church at 97th and Sandy Boulevard on Monday, April 26th, 2010.  Firefighters were dispatched at 7:15 p.m.  As they arrived, the first crew reported thick smoke coming from the second floor and roof area of the building.  A second alarm was called at 7:24 p.m. and a third alarm called at 7:35 because more firefighters were needed at the large, two-story wood building.  

Firefighters gained control of the fire quickly and, at 8:30 p.m., the fire was under control.  

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds community members to be cautious when using temporary lighting.  

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Contact Info: Contact: Lt. Rich Tyler  media pager 503-940-6003