Hot stovepipe causes blaze at Parkrose Heights home

The ‘concealed space’ nature of the fire made it difficult to extinguish, firefighters say …

Firefighters work to gain access to this attic firePhoto by Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue,

By David F. Ashton
No matter how big the fire, putting it out is much easier when it’s clearly visible to firefighters.

A little before 9:30 p.m. on May 28, crews found their work cut out for them – when they were called to a blaze in concealed space, in a home in the Parkrose Heights neighborhood at 10621 NE Morris Street.

“Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Engine Company 12 (across from The Grotto, on NE Sandy Boulevard) arrived on-scene in less than four minutes, and confirmed a working fire in the two-story home, originating in the attic,” said the Bureau’s Public Information Officer, Paul Corah.

Searches of the burning structure confirmed what firefighters had been told when they’d arrived – that all residents had indeed safely left the house.

While crews work inside to attack the fire, other firefighters begin cutting into the roof of the two-story homePhoto by Dick Harris, PF&R

“Concealed within a difficult-to-reach attic,” Corah added, “this fire required the removal of the entire second story ceiling. Crews then used water from interior hose lines to reach the ‘seat’ of the fire. This fire was brought under control by the joint efforts of interior and exterior crews.”

On the roof of the house, firefighters from Truck Co. 2 in Parkrose cut holes into the roof, to allow accumulated heat and gasses to escape. “This dramatically improves visibility and working conditions for interior firefighters,” explained Corah.

Because they had to pull down the second floor ceiling, this home was extensively damaged by the fire which had been caused by an overheated pellet stove pipe.  Photo by Dick Harris, PF&R

It took about 45 minutes to get the fire under control; no residents or firefighters were injured in the incident.

The next day Corah reported, “Fire Investigators have determined that this residential structure fire was caused by the overheating of the pellet stove pipe. Damage is estimated at $65,000.”

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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