Cluttered Mt. Scott-Arleta house damaged by fire

See why firefighters had to work extra hard putting out the conflagration in this outer East Portland home …

Near Mt. Scott Park, firefighters assemble to fight a morning house fire.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Smoke belched from a Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood house at 7016 SE Knight Street, on Friday morning of January 20. That swiftly caught the attention of neighbors, who called t he 9-1-1 Center to report a fire.

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) firefighters, sent to the scene at 8:55 a.m., reported upon arrival, “Heavy smoke coming from the structure”.

Gathered at the front door, firefighters are ready to entry the structure for a second time.

The first rig in was Lents Station #11’s Engine Company, whose crew members started pulling hose lines to the hydrant, and preparing to battle the fire. One minute later, both the Engine and Ladder Truck Company of Woodstock Station #25 arrived, and began a search for victims – and located the seat of the fire.

“Firefighters were able to make access, and determine that it was a basement fire,” PF&R Public Information Officer Katia Minor told East Portland News.

Finding it difficult to move around inside the residence, some crew members look in though a side window.

As fire fighters entered the burning home, over hand-held radios the Safety Officer reminded crews inside the house “keep watch for the hole in the floor” – and it seemed as if that hole might have been there before the fire.

“Access was difficult, mostly because there were shrubs and cars and all kinds of stuff around the house – but it didn’t significantly delay our access,” Minor said.

At 9:33 a.m., crews were still hard at work, pulling down the first floor ceiling to get at flames that had spread up the wall from the basement and into the rest of the house.

“The residence had clutter, which was a factor in getting the fire wrapped up,” Minor conceded. “It makes it difficult for firefighters to ensure all fire has been fully extinguished when having to dig through clutter.”

To make entry to the rear of the house, firefighters first had to cut back a thicket of brush.

Although an ambulance had been dispatched to the address as a precaution, it was soon sent on the way – no injuries were reported.

“Our investigators get dispatched to every residential fire that doesn’t have an obvious cause, as was the case in this fire,” Minor concluded. “It remains under investigation.”

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News


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