Fire rips through Powellhurst-Gilbert duplex

See the damage caused by this fire that officials say started in a bedroom …

Portland Fire & Rescue’s Engine 11 and Truck 24 are two of several crews called to fight a fire at a duplex.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The report of a fire ripping through a single-story duplex unit, two blocks north of SE Powell Boulevard and a half-block east of SE 82nd Avenue, brought out crews from Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) at 1:45 p.m. on May 2.

When the crew of Lents Station Engine 11 rolled up to the duplex “court” located at 8371 SE Brooklyn St., the lieutenant called in the initial “size-up” report: “Smoke coming from the front door and flames on the side of the unit.”

Police clear away all bystanders – except the displaced residents – while firefighters put out the bedroom fire.

Arriving firefighters split up to look for victims or occupants in the structure, while others started fighting the fire. Soon, the area was crowded with bystanders. So much so, that Portland Police Bureau East Precinct District officers were called in to provide crowd control.

With a foam unit at the ready to quench any remaining flames, firefighters continue the task of looking for live embers.

The firefighters, with the help of additional units from Woodstock Station 25, quickly knocked down the blaze. The crews then began “overhaul” – removing charred structural members and contents that might contain live embers.

“Portland Fire & Rescue Investigators have determined that the fire originated in the northwest bedroom,” said PF&R spokesperson Ron Rouse.

Fire crews check the unit next door to the burned duplex unit to make sure the fire didn’t spread.

“The cause is listed as ‘accidental/undetermined’,” Rouse added. “The combined structure and content value is estimated at $148,940 with the loss estimate placed at $74,940.”

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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