Just after 1 a.m. Sunday, multiple callers to 9-1-1 reported that a three-story apartment complex under construction in the 11000 block of SW Collina Lane in Wilsonville was engulfed in flames. A bright orange glow and column of smoke could be seen from several miles away.
The fire occurred in the Villebois community where condominiums, apartments and row homes are densely packed together. Within minutes, several neighbors living adjacent the growing blaze reported that the fire was spreading to their homes.
By 1:15 a.m., fire commanders called a third alarm to bring enough firefighters to the scene to evacuate residents, extinguish fires in occupied buildings, control the original fire and protect exposed buildings.
In addition to TVF&R, fire crews from Lake Oswego Fire Department, Canby Fire District, and Aurora Fire District worked through the night. The fires were considered under control around 4 a.m.
Firefighters will remain at the site through Sunday morning to keep the burned pile of debris cool and make sure hot spots don’t flare up at nearby homes that were burned.
At least 20 occupied condominiums sustained significant fire damage or will be considered a total loss. Dozens more had blown out windows or siding damage due to the intense radiant heat from the original fire.
An additional construction shack, some construction equipment and approximately 14 cars and trucks were destroyed.
Many people were displaced because of this fire. No on was injured. Those who aren’t staying with friends or family are being assisted by the American Red Cross who provides temporary housing and vouchers for food, medicine or other necessities. So far, approximately 25 people are being helped at the scene.
Fire investigators have begun the extensive process to try and determine where and how this fire started. They will continue conducting witness interviews, examining physical evidence and evaluating video surveillance footage.