Fire ravages Madison South Asian market

Take a look at the photos and you’ll see why this blaze turned into a ‘3-Alarm’ call-out …

In the Madison South neighborhood, Portland Fire & Rescue Ladder Truck Company firefighters rig an aerial master nozzle on their apparatus.

By David F. Ashton

A blaze reported inside the boarded-up Thai Binh Restaurant, at 6750 NE Broadway early Tuesday morning, March 26, dispatched Portland Fire & Rescue crews to the commercial fire at 1:53 a.m.

The first-arriving Engine Company reported smoke showing from the roof of the structure, over the top of the closed restaurant section. Firefighters cut their way into that part of the building, which had been boarded up with plywood.

Firefighters are told to quickly evacuate the building, as the roof on the other side of the building, and the contests of the grocery store below it, ignite.

As thick brown smoke billowed out of the double entry doors, the Battalion Chief who’d assumed command radioed for all interior crews to immediately exit the structure and continue fighting the fire from the exterior. The Chief also call called for a “second alarm response” which doubles the number of firefighters to nearly 60 members.

As three Ladder Trucks and crews were setting up, Engine Company firefighters were running water lines to every hydrant in the vicinity to get enough water pressure to supply multiple aerial master streams of water to shoot onto the building’s flaming roof.

Even with a steady stream of water being shot onto the roof, the fire continues to grow.

The fire breaches the interior wall, and the contents of Pacific Market begins to blaze.

Twenty minutes into the incident, the flames endangered the Pacific Market – an Asian food store – next door. But heavy smoke pushing out of the market’s front door indicated heavy fire activity overhead in its attic.

It didn’t take long for the fire, spreading across the roof from the restaurant space to the store to light the market’s contents on fire – causing crews to be pulled away from the building for their safety.

This commercial fire lights up the night sky, and threatens eight houses along the eastern edge.

Eight homes, along the eastern exposure of the building, were temporarily evacuated as 20-foot flames shot into the air from the now-fully-involved strip mall building. The Chief called for a third alarm, in case the fire spread to those houses. Residents were escorted back into their homes 15 minutes later, once it was apparent that the fire threat was reduced.

The fire was “recalled” 90 minutes into the incident, with all companies continue to work on-scene. There were no reported injuries, and no residents will be displaced due to the fire. But the 20,000 square foot building and all of its contents are considered to be a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

All images courtesy of Portland Fire & rescue

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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