Centennial neighborhood fire shutters smoke shop

Find out what made this outer East Portland morning fire more difficult to fight …

Crews work to board up the “Roll Your Own” convenience store in outer East Portland, after an intense fire ripped through the building.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The “Roll Your Own” tobacco shop and convenience store, located on the north side of SE Division Street at SE 158th Avenue, was the scene of a commercial fire on September 25.

At 6:51 a.m. that morning, neighbors saw smoke – then fire – coming from the east side of the building’s roof, and called the 9-1-1 Center. That summoned crews from Portland Fire & Rescue (PFR) and Gresham Fire Bureau.

Firefighters ladder up to the roof of this neighborhood convenience store to attack the blaze from the roof. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Fire rigs block off westbound SE Division Street, just as the morning rush hour begins.

The crew of PF&R Engine 31 reported an active fire at the business, and started pulling water lines to fight the fire.

Motorists heading toward town found westbound SE Division Street closed, as firefighting equipment pulled into the area.

“Finding heavy fire involvement,” reported PF&R spokesman Tommy Schroeder, “They began an aggressive interior attack on the fire.”

From inside, and from above, fire crews work to extinguish the blaze.

Unlike fighting a fire in a single large retail area, firefighters found that this building had been subdivided into several occupancies. “This further complicated the incident,” stated Schroeder.

There was no report regarding injuries available. Investigators set the estimated damage amount at $90,000 – but have yet to release the cause of the fire.

Continuous streams of water finally quench the fire that damaged the business.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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