A man was found dead Thursday morning in a house fire near Northwest 174th Avenue and Meadow Grass Drive, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.
Arriving fire crews found the body and asked for Washington County sheriff's deputies to be dispatched, which is standard procedure, a TVF&R official said.
Neighbors smelled smoke and found it coming from the home, according to TVF&R. They called 911 and the first crews arrived within six minutes. They were able to extinguish the smoky fire quickly. Still, they found a body inside.
"We always try and preserve the scene as best we can and use as little water and disrupt things as little as possible and the medical examiner will come in and determine the cause of the death and our investigators will determine the cause of the fire,” said Lydia Woodman of TVF&R.
A Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson confirmed the body is that of a 64-year-old who lived alone in the home. The sheriff's office said it appears the man died of accidental causes, possibly involving a cigarette.
The spokesperson said it appears he died of smoke inhalation. The medical examiner is working to notify family members who live out of the area.
Neighbors said the man was a Marine and lived in the home for a long time. His wife died several years ago, they said.
“I’m just kind of sad it all ended this way. I hate to see anybody die and he’s been a friend and a neighbor for probably 35 years,” said Dave Harden.
Neighbors said they did not hear smoke detector alarms going off Thursday morning.
An autopsy is scheduled for Friday to determine the exact cause of death.
Fire officials remind everyone that when a working smoke alarm is present, they can save lives and protect property.