Firefighters call in, and then battle, garage blaze

The 9-1-1 Center received other calls, but see how these alert ‘Rescue Unit’ crew members got reinforcements to keep this conflagration from turning into an inferno …

SE Powell Boulevard is closed as firefighters stage to put out a fire in a parking garage attached to an apartment building in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Mill Park Station 7 on SE 122nd Avenue is the home of an engine, a ladder truck – and a SUV called “Rescue 7”, equipped to handle medical and other smaller emergencies.

The crew of Rescue 7 was coming back from a call on the afternoon of January 17, driving along SE Powell Boulevard, when they noticed an unusual amount of smoke coming from behind a building at SE 125th Avenue about 4:30 p.m.

The fast-moving fire burns the contents of at least two of the four parking garages.

“We pulled in, and grabbed our pump cans, as we called in our location,” a firefighter told East Portland News. “We saw flames when we rounded the corner, and told dispatch to step up the response.”

Within minutes, their shift crewmates from the station house, riding Engine 7, arrived. The crew hooked up a large water line hose to their rig, and hauled out working lines to fight the fire.

After the fire has been extinguished, a firefighter takes off his facemask.

The blaze broke out in a parking structure – comprised of four single-story individual garages, all connected under one roof.

One after another, more fire units arrived, ready to fight a larger fire if needed, because the garage shared a common wall with the apartment units.

Debriefing after the fire is extinguished is PF&R Firefighter/Paramedic Sullivan, one of the crew who first spotted the smoke – here talking with Battalion Chief Kevin Shanders.

However, the fire was successfully contained to just the garages, and no one will be displaced from this fire. Several vehicles that were parked in the garages suffered damage. There were no injuries reported in this fire, and its cause is still under investigation.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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