Firefighters: Improper use of propane heater causes Forest Grove house fire

Firefighters: Improper use of propane heater causes Forest Grove house fire
Firefighters say an outdoor propane heater was being used to heat a room in the basement. It caught nearby items on fire and caused about $2,000 in damage. No one was seriously injured. (Photo: Forest Grove Fire & Rescue)

FOREST GROVE, Ore. – An outdoor propane heater used indoors caused $2,000 in damage to a home Saturday, according to Forest Grove Fire & Rescue.

Firefighters said they were called to the home on Southwest Easterday Road, about one mile from the city, at about 8:15 a.m. They said they saw smoke coming out of the basement of the two-story home.

Firefighters said they couldn’t quickly get into the house and to the basement because of clutter inside it, and many of the doors were locked. But firefighters were able to put out most of the flames from an outside window before they managed to get inside to extinguish the rest of the fire.

Two people were sleeping in the basement and one person was upstairs. All three made it out safely, but one person was burned on the arm. But the injury was minor and the person refused treatment, firefighters said.

Firefighters said the propane heater was being used to heat the room and was too close to combustible materials.

“Forest Grove Fire & Rescue wants to remind everyone that it is never a good idea to use a portable outdoor propane heater inside an enclosed structure,” firefighters said in a news release. “Propane heaters are not made to be used in structures and don't have the needed safety features to prevent fires.”

Firefighters from the Cornelius Fire Department and the Gaston Fire District assisted the Forest Grove crew.