Firefighters injured in Montavilla house fire

No residents where hurt – but see why two firefighters were, at this outer East Portland blaze …

The heat from this raging house fire in the Montavilla neighborhood could be felt at some distance, neighbors say. Hoss Hovis image

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

When the neighbors, up early on a Saturday morning, saw smoke billowing from the garage of a home at 2404 SE 89th Avenue, they called 9-1-1 starting at 5:20 a.m. on January 6.

“We just woke up and saw the fire; it was a big shock,” neighbor Hoss Hovis told reporters, saying he’d felt the heat from the fire several doors down the block.

In the dawn’s light, firefighters look through the rubble for remaining hotspots.

Minutes later, both of Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Woodstock Station 25’s Truck and Engine companies pulled up.

After their initial “size-up” of the affected home, firefighters radioed to dispatch that they were seeing flames leaping from both the garage and the house.

“Crews quickly made entry, to verify that all residents were out of the structure,” recounted PF&R Public Information Officer Ron Rouse.

The garage of this residence is completely destroyed, and the house is severely damaged by the fire.

Minutes into the firefight, the attached garage collapsed upon two firefighters, who were seen being helped out of the burning rubble by other crew members. “Both firefighters were treated at the scene, and transported to the hospital with minor injuries,” Rouse told us.

To extinguish the inferno, firefighters also had to work around downed, energized, and sparking power lines, which made their work more difficult, Rouse pointed out.

Fire investigators look through the ruins of the collapsed garage.

“No one was home at the time of the fire, and an investigator was on-scene to determine a cause and damage assessment,” Rouse said – adding that no further information was yet available.

American Red Cross Cascades Region volunteers arrived soon afterward, and provided “basic needs” for the two displaced residents, such as temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services, and health and mental health services, said Red Cross spokesperson Franca Hernandez.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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