Candle fire smokes out East Portland lodger

Wonder why the good folks at Portland Fire & Rescue advise using caution when burning decorative candles? Take a look …

Fire department officials say all it took was the careless use of a candle to set off a blaze that destroyed the second story of this outer East Portland home. The resident was helped down the ladder that stands against the roof of the front porch.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Minutes before noon, firefighters get a call saying a house is on fire at SE 88th and Duke Street. Three stations respond, and indeed find smoke and flames pouring out of the home.

On scene, Battalion Chief Jay Olson tells us, “A resident was on the roof, over the porch, when we arrived. There was heavy smoke showing out of the attic area. Crews helped the resident down off the roof with a ladder.”

Firefighters say a man crawled out of this small attic window to escape the smoke and flames sparked by a fire ignited by a candle. Fire crews haul out smoldering material to make sure the fire is completely out.

“Then, the firefighters attacked the fire,” Olson continues. “We sent a crew into the interior of the home, up the stairway, and they took care of the rest of the fire. Yet another crew opened the roof to ventilate the residence, and check for extensions into the roof.”

Could this blaze been avoided?

“We’re told that the fire was started by a decorative candle, and quickly got out of hand,” Olson commented. “This is why we urge people to be careful with candles!”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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