Investigators: Fire that destroyed 5 cars at Beaverton apartments intentionally set

Investigators: Fire that destroyed 5 cars at Beaverton apartments intentionally set »Play Video
(Photo: Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue)

BEAVERTON, Ore. – A massive fire that destroyed five cars and a carport at a Beaverton apartment complex Sunday night was intentionally set, according to fire investigators with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue.

Neighbors want investigators to catch the arsonist who they believe may be connected to a string of suspicious fires at the Canyon Park Apartments.

This time, firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to the apartments.

No one was hurt.

Neighbors called 911 just after 9:30 p.m. when they heard popping sounds and explosions coming from a carport at the Canyon Park Apartments. The fire grew quickly, spreading over the wooden carport and engulfing five vehicles parked there. The intense heat also damaged several other cars.

Francis Lee has lived at the apartment complex with his family for about a year and half, and says this is not the first suspicious fire they've had, but it is the most serious.

Lee lost his Mazda pickup truck to the flames, and two other family cars now have melted license plate frames and tail lights.

"I hope whoever is responsible feels really bad about it. They may not have felt bad when they started it, but they should feel really bad now what they've done to everybody," he told KATU.

Firefighters said preliminary reports indicated the fire started in a nearby dumpster.

Another fire almost exactly one year ago also started in a dumpster, according to Leslie Turner, who lives in Canyon Park Apartments.

"This is the third or fourth fire," said Leslie Turner, who says some boys between 10 and 12 years old set the dumpster fire on July 31, 2013.

Turner says the boy was caught and punished for the 2013 fire.

Another neighbor says the most recent fire was only two weeks ago, on July 14, when a fire started next to one of the buildings. 

The Washington County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the case.

A spokesman was not able to provide information about previous fires.