Rooftop blaze forces evacuation of Washington Square Mall
Washington Square Mall in Tigard was evacuated after "flames and black smoke" burst up from the roof of the mall's food court on Saturday, July 28.
Investigators with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue say the blaze started in the kitchen of a restaurant in the food court and then spread to a "grease vent" in the roof. No injuries were reported.
Callers to 9-1-1 reported seeing a "dark column of smoke" issuing from the roof of the mall, located at 9585 S.W. Washington Square Road, just after 4 p.m. A full evacuation of the mall was immediately ordered.
Firefighters reached the roof and soon extinguished the blaze. The food court was thoroughly ventilated and mall goers were eventually allowed to return to the first floor. The food court was still closed as of Saturday.
As luck would have it, firefighters from TVF&R Station 53 performed a training drill about two weeks ago at Washington Square in coordination with mall management and security. The scenario involved a fire in the food court.
"This is one of many types of training drills performed at Washington Square Mall, to ensure all parties familiarize themselves with the large building and enhance collaboration and coordination skills," a news release explained. "This invaluable training from two weeks ago was put to work today, resulting in an efficient and effective response by all involved agencies and mall staff."