Fire crews snuff blaze at Montavilla car shop

See what might have happened, if firefighters hadn’t quickly put out this fire at a Stark Street neighborhood car dealer …

Being able for a fire crew to reel off a hose and immediately spray water on burning cars helped keep this outer East Portland commercial building in Montavilla from catching on fire.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Dispatched for a “Commercial Fire”, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews raced to car dealer Millennium Motors, at 9321 SE Stark Street, at 2:09 p.m. on June 5.

Just minutes after the call went out, the crew of PF&R’s Burnside Station Rescue 19 arrived, reporting to the fire dispatcher that thick smoke and fire was showing from the lot on the east side of the building.

The fire having been extinguished, a crew member operates the motorized “booster line” drum, to retract the hose.

Engine 19 and Mill Park Station Engine 7 crews arrived simultaneously one minute later. Engine 19’s crew unreeled a “booster line” hose from its reel – that’s a line always connected to the rig’s water tank and pump – and began dousing vehicles that were afire.

In the meantime, Engine 7’s crew hooked up a water supply line from a nearby hydrant to replenish the water supply in Engine 19’s tank.

A firefighter with Engine 19 checks over the charred vehicles, making sure all the embers have been extinguished.

It didn’t take long to quench the blaze, but firefighters stood by for about an hour before packing up their gear to make sure the burned vehicles and materials in the area didn’t reignite.

No one was injured in the fire.  But, some of the thick smoke entered the ventilation system of the MBank building, directly east of the fire, causing employees to open doors and windows to ventilate their own structure.

Although some vehicles suffered severe damage from the fire, other cars were spared – along with the building.

The fire remains under investigation, and the damage estimate has yet to be revealed.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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