Classes were not affected by Tuesday morning blaze

by: TIMES PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews remain at Highland Park Middle School following a Tuesday morning fire in a portable building on campus used to store items. An investigation continues into what caused the blaze.Fire investigators could not determine the cause of a fire early Tuesday morning at Highland Park Middle School that caused an estimated $100,000 in damage to a portable classroom that was being used to store desks, chairs, drama props, filing cabinets and paperwork.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue crews responded to a report at 5:50 a.m. from a neighbor who spotted a fire in the portable storage building on campus, 7000 S.W. Wilson Ave.

“When crews arrived, they found a fully involved building with 60-foot flames,” said Karen Eubanks, a fire district spokeswoman. “There were a few challenges when crews first arrived on scene.”

Power lines with three separate lines to the school building had been above the portable.

“The heat from the fire had melted those power lines through, and they were on the ground,” Eubanks said. “Our crews had to take precautions to ensure their safety while suppressing the fire.”

In addition, the portable itself is located behind the main school building near the baseball fields, which forced crews to stretch several hundred feet of hose line to reach the structure, she added.

“They did knock down the fire within 13 minutes,” Eubanks added.

Crews contained the fire to the portable, preventing the blaze from spreading.

Because the structure is not used as a classroom, but rather for storage, the fire did not impact or delay classes on Tuesday.

No injuries were reported. While the cause remains undetermined, fire investigators say the fire originated in the portable’s attic above the suspended ceiling.

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