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Some ashes can smolder for days before growing into dangerous fires, TVF&R warns.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TUALATIN VALLEY FIRE & RESCUE. - Firefighters respond to a house fire on Aug. 3 in Aloha.Fire officials say dry conditions may be to blame for two Aloha house fires in the last week.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to an early-morning house fire in the 5300 block of S.W. Domine Ct. just after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday and arrived to find heavy fire on the back of the home.

Fire had spread to the interior and attic space by burning up the side of the home and through holes in the eves, TVF&R spokesman Tim Nokes said.

Despite initial reports one of the occupants had returned to the home to retrieve a dog, there were no reported injuries from the fire. The crew fought to gain control of the fire for more than 30 minutes.

Attic fires can be difficult to fight, as firefighters can't access flames from outside the building and have to remove the ceiling from the inside. Nokes said the fire didn't damage the interior of the home, but there was considerable water damage.

Nokes said the fire started in a pile of leaves under the deck of the home.

A fire on Aug. 3 caused considerable damage to a pair of homes in the 1400 block of S.W. Fritz Place. Nokes said the fire started in a stand of bamboo and spread to two homes.

TVF&R upgraded the fire to a third alarm after seeing a large column of smoke while enroute to the scene.

The first house was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, and two additional homes were beginning to catch fire.

Nokes said the first home was a total loss, while a second home sustained significant damage.

A child was treated for burns at the scene.

Though results of both investigations haven't been released, Nokes said exterior fires started by sparks or ashes can smolder for several days before spreading.

"A lot of outdoor fires are caused by improperly discarded smoking materials," Nokes said. "It happens with bar-b-que ashes, and we've seen briquettes misplaced and not disposed of properly."

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