Tips sought in Thunderbird Hotel fire

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

Published:

Updated: December 20, 2012, 5:39 PM

 

Portland Fire & Rescue and Crime Stoppers of Oregon on Thursday asked for the public’s help in determining the cause of a fire that destroyed a vacant Janzten Beach hotel this summer.

The fire was reported in the early morning hours of Sept. 2 at the Thunderbird Hotel at 1401 N. Hayden Island Drive, Portland. The fire caused an estimated $17 million in damage.

“At this point, investigators consider the fire suspicious and cannot rule out the possibility of arson,” a Crime Stoppers release said.

The organization is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Tips can be left at crimestoppersoforegon.com or by calling 503-823-4357.

Property records indicate Thunderbird Hotel LLC buildings and property has an assessed value of $18,824,780.

The Thunderbird had been vacant since 2005. It has a central building and five wings. It was once owned by the late Tod McClaskey of Vancouver and the late Ed Pietz of Ridgefield, who sold their 54-hotel empire in 1984. The site once was mentioned as a possible site for a Walmart store, but plans fell through.

Paul Suarez: 360-735-4522; http://www.twitter.com/col_cops; paul.suarez@columbian.com.