Injured firefighters identified after Forest Grove house fire

Washington County

Both firefighters should return to work within a few days

Two firefighters left with injuries after a Forest Grove garage fire on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (Forest Grove Fire & Rescue)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 2 firefighters who were injured in a Forest Grove house fire on Friday have been identified as Lieutenant Ted Penge and Captain Joe Smith.

Lieutenant Ted Penge was released from the hospital with a sore neck and a headache. (Forest Grove Fire & Rescue)

Lt. Penge was released from the hospital after a couple after with neck soreness and a headache. Capt. Smith was released with a sore ankle. Both men will be off for a few days to recuperate and get checked out by their doctors.

Crews were called out to the house fire on Ridge Point Drive. They arrived to find fire coming from the garage of a home on the edge of the suburbs. First responders were able to quickly put out the fire and contain it to the garage area.

Captain Joe Smith was released from the hospital with a sore ankle. (Forest Grover Fire & Rescue)

While firefighters were searching for hot-spots left over from the fire, a shelving unit that hung from the garage ceiling fell on 2 crew members. One firefighter was knocked to the ground under the collapsed debris. A second firefighter injured his ankle.

“Firefighters on scene had to pull them out, away from it,” said Matt Johnston of Forest Grove Fire and Rescue. “Pull the equipment off of them and took them outside where the firefighters were able to stand up on their own.”

Both were safely pulled from the house fire and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Forest Grove Fire and Rescue said they expect the 2 firefighters will be released Friday night with minor sprains.

“Collapses of any kind are dangerous for firefighters because there is a lot of weight up there and our firefighters wear a lot of equipment, and it saves them, but it can also injure them if they fall,” said Johnston. He said the firefighters aren’t typically injured in the way they were today, but fire scenes aren’t always predictable.

“It’s a dangerous job that we have and it’s something we are always looking at avoiding,” he said.

Firefighters told KOIN 6 News that neighbors called to report the fire after hearing popping noises come from the home around 4:15 p.m. They said the noise could have come from paint cans or gas, but there was no explosion. The owners of the house were not home at the time the fire broke out.

The fire was contained to the garage and the cause is still undetermined.

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