Firefighters from across the area responded to a first-alarm fire Saturday afternoon, Sept. 8.

A total of 30 firefighters responded to a first-alarm commercial fire Saturday afternoon, Sept. 8, at Ortiz Auto Repair LLC in Forest Grove. COURTESY PHOTO: CHRIS LARSON -

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue arrived to the shop, located in the 1800 block of C Street, just after 12:30 p.m. to find the structure fully engulfed, according to Matt Johnston with Forest Grove Fire.

"Crews attacked the flames from the exterior due to unsafe conditions, which included a collapsed roof," Johnston said. "An additional ladder truck was brought to the scene to join a ladder truck already on scene to fight the flames safely from the air."

It took approximately 45 minutes to get the fire under control, Johnston said.

Live power lines were burned during the fire and fell to the ground, which firefighters had to avoid until deemed safe, Johnston said, making the fight more difficult. A water line in the front of the building also broke during the fire, with flowing water creating a sink hole three feet wide and possibly four feet deep, he said.

"Because of this, firefighters were not able to get close to the front of the structure due to unknown underground sink holes that could have been created because of this," Johnston said.COURTESY PHOTO -

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue, Cornelius Fire Department, Gaston Fire District, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, Forest Grove Police, Washington County Sheriffs Office, Forest Grove Public Works and Forest Grove Light & Power all responded to the scene.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to Johnston. The building and its contents, including two vehicles, are considered a total loss. No one was injured in the incident.

By Olivia Singer
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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