Forest Grove Fire & Rescue
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News Release
Mobile Water Supply Operation
Mobile Water Supply Operation
*Update with Cause* Church Heavily Damaged by Fire near Gales Creek (Photo) - 06/11/18

After a systematic examination of the scene and interviews with witnesses and individuals associated with the church, our fire investigator has determined that an electrical failure in a void space in between the basement and main floor caused the fire. We were assisted with the investigation by Washington County Sheriffs Office and Oregon State Fire Marshal.

Original Press Release
At 5:50 on Saturday June 9th, Forest Grove Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a fire at the Hillside Bible Church on NW Clapshaw Hill Road, this is located just east of the community of Gales Creek in rural Washington County. Initial reports from 911 callers were that the front of the church was on fire. First arriving crews found the church to be fully engulfed in flames and requested a 2nd Alarm be dispatched to bring additional firefighters and equipment to the scene. Five minutes after arrival while crews were fighting the flames, the steeple and roof collapsed, no firefighters were injured when this occured. Due to the incident being located in a rural area, there were no fire hydrants near by and water had to be brought to the scene, which early on in the incident created difficulty fighting the flames.

It took firefighters approximately an hour to extinguish a bulk of the fire and several more hours putting out hotspots. No one was at the church when the fire was reported and no civilians were injured. One firefighter from Banks Fire District recieved burns to their hand and was treated on scene. The building is considered a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Forest Grove Fire & Rescue was assisted on scene by Cornelius Fire Department, Gaston Fire District, Hillsboro Fire & Rescue, Banks Fire District, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Washington County Sheriffs Office.

Scene Information

Engines - 8
Water Tenders - 6
Support - 2
Chiefs - 2
Investigator - 1

Total Firefighters - 45


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