Careless smoking blamed for Lents house fire

The family escaped injury in this fire, but see why the house might be a total loss …

Because of working smoke alarms, four residents and two dogs escaped this house as it burned. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

By David F. Ashton

A modest Lents neighborhood house, located between SE Foster Road and the Springwater Trail – at 6405 SE 97th Avenue, at the corner of SE Henry Street – caught fire at about 2:00 a.m. on October 11.

“When crews arrived, they saw fire coming from multiple windows on the one-and-a-half story house,” reported Portland Fire & Rescue Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Tyler.

Working their way from the exterior of this house to the inside, firefighters fight the wind as they extinguish the house fire. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Fire crews first made sure all four residents had escaped the blazing rental house – and, as it turns out, they had, along with their two dogs.

A strong gusty wind fueled the flames, Tyler said, making the situation too dangerous for firefighters initially to venture inside the inferno.

“Crews started fighting the fire from outside the structure, and then worked their way in, until they got the fire under control around 2:30 a.m.,” Tyler added.

Finally inside, fire crews fully get the house fire under control. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

A PF&R Investigator was called to the scene, and later said the fire was started by “inappropriately discarded smoking materials.” The total structural damage is estimated at $100,000.

Volunteers from American Red Cross – Cascades Region provided immediate basic needs assistance, emergency lodging, and information about recovery services and disaster mental health services.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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