Alert resident saves families from Burnside apartment fire

It’s not clear how this Hazelwood neighborhood four-plex caught fire, but the result could have been deadly …

Downed power lines, and having to pull water lines over TriMet MAX tracks, add to the complexity of fighting this outer East Portland fire.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Fighting a fire at a four-plex owned by the Housing Authority of Portland wasn’t easy for Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews, called to the structure called Nathaniel’s Way, at 11106 East Burnside, at about 3:30 a.m. on August 8.

A resident told reporters that, returning home, she saw the smoke and fire, got her child, woke up her neighbors, and called 9-1-1 for help – and was credited for saving the lives of her neighbors.

The PF&R Battalion Chief calls for a “2nd Alarm” to this apartment fire.

“When fire crews arrived, they found fire burning in a single apartment and spreading into the attic; the incident commander called for a second alarm to ensure that adequate resources would be available,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons.

While some firefighters began the putting out the flames in the second-story unit, other crews were searching the building, looking for trapped occupants.

Firefighters cycle on and off duty, taking turns, while fighting the conflagration.

“A downed power line made accessing the fire difficult for a time,” Simmons said.

Another challenging situation was that the fire hydrant was located on the other side of Burnside Street, Simmons explained, “Firefighters had to lay hose across the street, and over the TriMet MAX tracks, for a time.”

Simmons reported that nobody was injured in this fire, but 13 people were displaced by fire and water damage. They were assisted by the American Red Cross, Cascades Region responders.

This firefighter continues to pour water into the affected apartment unit.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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