Four residents escape early morning blaze unharmed

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - An early morning fire caused some damage to a Tigard home, but residents escaped without injury.A family of four is safe after a Good Samaritan tried to put out a blaze that consumed a Tigard home last week.

A jogger running in the 11900 block of Morning Hill Drive in Tigard noticed fire coming from the roof of a nearby home at about 5:40 a.m. on Friday and banged on the door to wake up the four residents who were inside.

According to The Times’ news partner KOIN Local 6, three of the residents were children who were being watched over by an older sister while their mother was out of town.

Teenager LaDaiju Reese, who was babysitting her three younger siblings, said she didn’t even realize her house was on fire.

“At first I thought someone was trying to break into our house,” teenager LaDaiju Reese recounted to KOIN after the ordeal. “Because who tries to bang on your door at 5 o’clock in the morning?”

Reese wouldn’t open the door for the man, and the jogger ran into the backyard where he attempted to put out the fire himself using a garden hose.

“He started spraying the back down, and after a while, I went back there myself and (saw) there were flames in the attic,” Reese said.

Reese and her three siblings evacuated and called 911. No one was injured.

When crews with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue arrived, they found thick black smoke billowing from the house’s eaves and out of a vent in the attic.

According to TVF&R, it took 23 firefighters about 20 minutes to put out the blaze, but the house is unlivable because a portion of the roof collapsed.

The mother of the four siblings returned home upon learning of the fire.

Fire investigators say the blaze started in the attic above the master bedroom, but have not yet released a cause of what started the fire.

Investigators estimated the fire caused about $80,000 worth of damage to the single-story home.

According to TVF&R, the jogger has since disappeared and investigators have been unable to locate the man to thank him.

Reese said the mystery man saved their lives.

"I am so thankful for you,” she said. “Honestly, we’d probably be dead right now if you didn’t come and knock on our door. Thank you, whoever you are.”

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