Blaze broke out on decorative row of bushes separating the two structures; cars parked nearby suffer damage

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: NICOLE THILL - A row of cars parked in the parking lot of the Best Western Oak Meadows Inn in St. Helens suffered damage when a fire broke out Sunday, June 25. The exterior of an apartment complex to the south of the parking lot was also damaged in the fire.A fire that broke out in a stretch of decorative bushes along Sykes Road Sunday night, June 25, caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the outside of an apartment building and nearby parked cars.

Columbia River Fire and Rescue personnel were dispatched to the 2500 block of Sykes Road at 2:37 a.m. Sunday after flames and smoke were seen in between two building structures — the Best Western Oak Meadows Inn and an unnamed apartment complex south of the hotel.

When crews arrived, a row of tall bushes between the buildings was on fire and flames had spread to the outside wall of the apartment complex and several nearby parked cars.

The fire was contained before it reached the interior of the apartment building, a press release from CRFR states.

No injuries were reported. Damage was estimated to be $260,000. Oregon State Police and the Oregon State Fire Marshal's office are investigating the cause of the fire.

Assistance was also provided by Scappoose Fire District, St. Helens Police Department and Columbia River People's Utility District. A total 16 firefighters, five engines and two chief officers responded.

Approximately 12 hours later, at 2:09 p.m., crews were called back to the scene when fire investigators saw smoke emerging from bark dust in the area.

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