August 23 2019
GASTON, Oregon - This afternoon at 4:17pm, Gaston Fire Department was dispatched to a barn fire in the area of SW Springhill Road and SW Laurelwood Road in rural Washington County. Minutes later firefighters arrived on scene to a 4,000 square foot barn fully engulfed with flames. Firefighters started to extinguish the flames, but were held back by downed power lines. Also being in a rural area with no fire hydrants, crews had to bring water to the scene on Water Tenders. Once an established water supply system was set up, firefighters were able to extinguish the flames. Crews were able to prevent flames from spreading to a nearby structure which contained a bulldozer and combine as well as other farming equipment.
While the fire was going on, there was a steady 10-15 mph wind. This sent embers into the air and started brush on fire in a nearby drainage ditch. Embers also traveled a half mile away and started to smolder in saw dust used for a tree nursery. Because of this, 4 wheel drive units (Brush Rigs) were brought to the scene to fight the vegetation fires. After an hour, firefighters had most of the flames out in the structure and the surround brush.
No civilians were injured, but two firefighters from Gaston were evaluated for heat exhaustion, but were not taken to a hospital. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The barn had 3 classic cars in it, a '67 Chevelle, '67 El Camino and '56 Chevy, all are destroyed. A utility truck parked near the barn was also destroyed. A total dollar loss amount is not available at this time.
Gaston Fire District wants to remind everyone that we are entering fire season in Oregon and practicing fire safety is even more important. Whether you are at home or out recreating in our fine state, please always take steps to be fire safe. Gaston Fire was assisted on scene by Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Cornelius Fire Department, Yamhill Fire District, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, McMinnville Fire Department, Carlton Fire District, Metro West Ambulance and Washington County Sheriffs Office.