Fireworks tentatively blamed for two homes set ablaze

It didn’t happen on July 4th, but fireworks fires did substantial damage to two Centennial neighborhood homes …

Firefighters arrive in the Centennial neighborhood to find bushes – and two houses – on fire. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

By David F. Ashton

Neighbors called the 9-1-1 Center about 9:00 a.m. on July 6, reporting high bushes on fire between two outer East Portland homes.

When Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews arrived at 847 SE 169th Drive, they saw burning bushes. But in the few minutes it took them to get there, the fire had also spread to homes on either side of the blazing bushes.

While other crew members pull large fire hoses, this firefighter starts spraying down the blaze using a “booster line” hose pulled off a truck-mounted reel. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Firefighters prepare to ladder up to the roof of this house. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

The crews from Station 31, the fire station shared with Gresham Fire, was first on-scene, quickly followed by crews from Mill Park Station 7 and Parkrose Station 2.

“Fire Crews began putting the fire out in the bushes and on the exterior of the homes,” reported PF&R spokesman Lt. Rich Tyler. “The fire did get into the attic of one home.”

Dousing the sides of the house with water, fire crews extinguish the flames in the bushes and lower part of the house. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

On one house, firefighters cut open the roof, and douse the fire in the attic. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Firefighters from Parkrose Station Truck 2 laddered up to the roof, and began to cut holes to access and extinguish the fire burning in the attic.

“The fire was under control in approximately 30 minutes, but the fire crews continued to work to put out hot spots,” Tyler said. “No injuries were reported. Neither family was displaced.”

Crews keep on working on the roofs of both houses, making sure the fires have been completely been snuffed out. Dick Harris, PF&R photo
Fire investigators said that the mid-County blaze appeared to be caused by illegal fireworks, Tyler commented. “Neighbors reported hearing a ‘mortar-style firework’ set off ten minutes prior to the fire.”

The damage loss to the homes is still to be determined.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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