Three people suffered minor injuries and three apartments were damaged in an early morning propane fire at a Tigard Apartment complex.
According to Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, 44 firefighters responded to a second-alarm fire at the Sunflower Apartments on SW 135th Avenue in Tigard just before 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 18. Multiple 911 callers 911 reported sounds of explosions and witnessed fire outside a corner unit at the complex.
Arriving firefighters found heavy flames fed by propane coming from the eves and side of the two-story building. As crews began to fight the fire, additional personnel searched other units in the building and evacuated residents.
The fire was controlled within 23 minutes, after which TVF&R personnel carried out searches of nearby units and salvaged belongings. Three people were treated by firefighters and paramedics from Metro West Ambulance at the scene for minor symptoms of smoke inhalation but no other injuries were reported.
Three apartments sustained significant damage from fire, smoke and water. The six occupants of those units will be permanently displaced, and approximately 24 people living in the building where the fire took place will not be able to return to their homes today because of the damage. The American Red Cross is assisting residents with temporary shelter.
A TVF&R fire investigator determined the cause of the accidental fire to be an unattended propane heater stored on an outdoor patio of a first-story unit.