Firefighter attacked by squatter on SE 148th

See what this odd call turned up, when firefighters were dispatched to a house in the Centennial neighborhood …

SE 148th Avenue is closed in outer East Portland, just south of SE Mill Street, while an assault investigation takes place nearby.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

At first, it seemed to be a typical run: Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) firefighters responded to the report of a house fire at 1831 SE 148th Avenue.

Indeed, there was smoke showing from the manufactured home, when the crew of PF&R Powellhurst Station, riding Engine 29, pulled up.

A PF&R Investigator comes to the scene of the call.

As they walked around the structure doing their “size-up” – an initial evaluation of the situation – they didn’t see any house fire in progress.

“The house wasn’t on fire,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Tyler.

Firefighters prepare to gather up their unused water hose lines.

“There was a fire in the fireplace inside the house,” Tyler told East Portland News. “The odd part of this call was that this house is a boarded up home, and the individuals inside were squatters.”

Thus, Tyler continued, “The fire was legal and safe inside the home, but the squatters were not.”

A Portland Police Bureau officer interviews an individual who officials say was illegally residing in the boarded-up house.

When a firefighter told the illegal occupants to vacate the home, a fire crewmember was assaulted by one of the occupants.

“The firefighter sustained minor injuries and was transported to an area hospital,” Tyler said.

A police investigation into the assault continues.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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