Hillsboro Fire and Rescue
Emergency Messages as of 9:28 pm, Wed. Oct. 21
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News Releases
East Main fire damage
East Main fire damage
Accidental kitchen fire causes significant damage (Photo) - 10/15/20

At 9:07 am this morning, an alert maintenance employee noticed black smoke and heard smoke alarms alerting from an apartment unit in the 5300-block of East Main Street in Hillsboro. The employee forced the rear door of the unit and attempted to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. He was able to rescue two dogs from inside the unit. Additional staff assisted by alerting neighbors and evacuating the building.

A first alarm response was activated by 911 dispatchers. Engine 3 arrived within five minutes and made entry through the front door to attack the fire. Engine 1 and Truck 5 arrived moments later to assist with extinguishment and search the home to ensure all occupants evacuated safely. No humans were home at the time of the fire only the two dogs that were rescued. The fire was contained in the kitchen with extension to the cabinetry and walls.  

One person was treated on scene for injuries related to smoke exposure and transported to a local hospital for evaluation. No other injuries were reported. Two adults and two dogs were displaced by the fire.

A Hillsboro Fire Investigator responded to the incident and determined that the fire was accidentally caused. The source of the fire was a pot lid left on a burner of the stove.

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue was assisted by Hillsboro Police and Metro West Ambulance.

Hillsboro Fire and Rescue reminds you that cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.

  • Keep a close eye on what you’re cooking; never leave cooking unattended
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains — at least three feet away from your stovetop.
  • Ensure you have working smoke alarms in your home and test them at least once a month


Deputy Chief Jeff Gurske
Deputy Chief Jeff Gurske
New Deputy Chief of Administration announced for Hillsboro Fire & Rescue (Photo) - 10/07/20

Hillsboro Fire and Rescue selected Jeff Gurske to lead the department as its deputy chief of administration. Effective September 14, 2020, Deputy Chief Gurske oversees the Fire Prevention and Investigation Division, logistics, capital projects, technical services, and communications. More than two dozen candidates from across the nation applied.

Fire Chief David Downey states, “You need a person who can build relationships with internal and external stakeholders in non-emergency response environments.  That is a big change from the traditionally-recognized emergency response experiences most chief officers are accustomed to. Chief Gurske has the leadership and management skills needed to accomplish the ‘pre-911 call’ work imperative to our success.”

Gurske has more than 21 years of fire service experience with the last 15 serving Hillsboro Fire and Rescue. Beginning as a volunteer firefighter, he promoted through the ranks in positions including engineer, captain, lieutenant, and most recently, division chief.

His focus areas are strengthening relationships within the City of Hillsboro and community organizations, increasing consistency and reliability when responding to emergency calls, and implementing best practices in data use and analysis from problem-solving to servant leadership.  

“When most people think of a fire and rescue department, they imagine the firefighters that respond to calls. However, fire and rescue is a much larger team to reduce community risk and increase reliability when responding to community needs. All of these fire department divisions are imperative for our overall success as a public safety agency. Every member is an important part of this delivery,” said Gurske.

His connection to the community runs deep, spending more than 14 years leading the nonprofit Hillsboro Firefighters Random Acts, two years as a leader of the NW Fire Diversity Council, and six years as president of International Orphan Care.

Deputy Chief Gurske lives in the community he serves with his wife and three children. He is located at Hillsboro Fire and Rescue Station 1 in downtown Hillsboro.


Attached Media Files: Deputy Chief Jeff Gurske
SE Walnut St Fire 5
SE Walnut St Fire 5
Fully involved garage fire burns two cars, extends into home (Photo) - 10/06/20

Shortly after 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, a resident living at a home on the 3000 block of SE Walnut Street heard what she thought was fire then immediately heard a small explosion. She alerted others in the home to evacuate and called 911 after safely escaping to a neighbor’s home across the street. Multiple calls to 911 reported seeing heavy black smoke and flames in the garage. Two cars parked in the driveway quickly became consumed by the fire.

A Hillsboro Fire & Rescue administrative staff member was first to arrive and confirmed the initial fire reports. The incident was upgraded to a first alarm. Residents told him that everyone had escaped safely, and no pets were inside. Engine 1 and Engine 6 arrived within four minutes and began attacking the fire. Engine 6 conducted a search of the home to confirm that no one was inside. Truck 5 arrived moments later and created a ‘water curtain’ at the back of the home to prevent fire from spreading to nearby homes and vegetation. The fire extended into the attic and main area of the home. Crews knocked down the fire within five minutes of their initial fire attack. They remained on-scene to extinguish hot spots and assist the residents in salvaging some belongings.

No injuries were reported. A Hillsboro Fire & Rescue chaplain responded to the scene to provide support to the residents and connect them with victim assistance services provided by the American Red Cross. Two adults and one adolescent child were displaced as a result of the fire.

A fire investigator responded to the scene and the investigation is ongoing. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue thanks Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency (WCCCA - 911 Dispatch), Hillsboro Police, MetroWest Ambulance, Northwest Natural Gas, and Portland General Electric for their help.


Condo fire SE Walnut
Condo fire SE Walnut
Condominium fire displaces four in Hillsboro (Photo) - 09/25/20

Just before 9:30 pm this evening, residents in a condominium in the 1400-block of SE Walnut Street reported smoke and flames coming from their kitchen. They briskly exited the home and tried to alert nearby in neighbors to also evacuate their residences. Battalion Chief C01 arrived to find smoke coming from the unit and upgraded the incident to a first alarm. Engine 1 arrived and entered the structure to extinguish the fire. Firefighters from Truck 5 searched the home to confirm that no one remained inside. The fire was quickly extinguished and did not spread to other units.

No injuries were reported. Four adults living in the home were displaced as a result of the fire. Victims' assistance is being provided to them to ensure they have a safe place to stay for the evening.

A Hillsboro Fire investigator determined that the cause was an accidental cooking fire. Thanks to Portland General Electric for their assistance.

Hillsboro Fire & Rescue reminds you that working smoke alarms can save lives by alerting you to an emergency situation. Test your smoke alarms at least monthly and replace batteries as soon as it's needed.


Attached Media Files: Condo fire SE Walnut