Electrical fire chars Hazelwood apartment

Learn what firefighters say might have saved the resident’s life …

Firefighters enter the burning apartment in the Hazelwood neighborhood. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

By David F. Ashton
A little past noon on August 18, a resident in a four-plex at 12508 NE Glisan Street smelled smoke in her unit.

“The call came in at 12:23 p.m.” said Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons.

“The occupant stated that she was watching TV when she smelled smoke and heard the smoke alarm,” Simmons said. “When she investigated, she found the fire, got outside and called 9-1-1.”

While crews battle the blaze in the unit of origin, other firefighters work to save the other four-plex apartments from the fire. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

The first crew on-scene was from Gateway Station 30, located in outer East Portland. “These firefighters arrived and found heavy smoke and fire issuing from a single story apartment,” Simmons told East Portland News.

This crew was soon joined by firefighters from Mill Park Station 7.

Inside the unit, firefighters continue to extinguish live embers. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

“Firefighters extinguished the fire, although the apartment where the fire started suffered significant damage,” Simmons said. “No injuries were associated with this fire.”

Although they haven’t released the monetary damages caused by the blaze, PF&R Investigators did find the seat of the fire. “The Fire Investigator indicated that this fire was caused by combustible items that made contact with electrical equipment.”

Outside the affected unit, firefighters dig into the roof and attic, making sure all fire and embers have been extinguished. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Some firefighters take down information from residents who were displaced by the fire. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter volunteers arrived, and helped the occupant find temporary shelter.

“In this case, the resident’s smoke alarm may have saved her life,” Simmons pointed out. “Working smoke alarms save lives.

“And, it’s a good idea to check and make sure to keep combustibles away from electrical equipment and other heat sources,” reminded Simmons.

> On the front page: Dick Harris, PF&R photo

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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