Arson suspected in Gaston house fire

Washington County

House is on Cherry Grove Drive

GASTON, Ore. (KOIN) — A vacant home was destroyed by a large fire that investigators believe was intentionally started.

A neighbor told KOIN 6 News they saw two kids running down the street after the fire started.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said people saw two white teenage boys, possibly carrying a red gas can. They were about 13-15 years old and one of them was wearing a white T-Shirt and tan pants or shorts. They may be connected to a gray or silver SUV.

“We searched searchable rooms inside the home didn’t find anyone,” Forest Grove Fire Chief Patrick Wineman said. “The fire became too large by the time the rest of the resources got here, so it turned into a defensible operation.”

A downed powerline sparked a grass fire that grew to about one-quarter acre before being extinguished.

The house was a complete loss.

About 50 firefighters from at least 8 departments responded to the fire. Extra crews were needed because of the heat of the day. They had to rotate crews to avoid heat exhaustion.

Anyone with information should call the sheriff’s office at 503.846.2500.

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