Intentional explosions rock outer East Portland

One big bang happened in Madison South, the other blast in Glenfair; officials say these explosions were likely not caused by any typical-yet-illegal fireworks …

A Portland Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief races to the site of an outer East Portland explosion.

By David F. Ashton

Many of residents remain upset by post-July-4th fireworks set off at all hours of the day and night. Due to the power of two of the blasts – one of them on Saturday, July 10, and another one two days later on July 12 – explosive experts joined detectives in the investigation.

July 10
Madison South ‘Tiny Free Library’ blown to bits

Here’s all that remains of this neighbor’s labor of love: A vandal blew a ‘Tiny Free Library’ to pieces, off its post. PPB image

It didn’t take a dispatcher to alert Portland Police Bureau (PPB) North Precinct officers to an explosion on the evening of July 10, at about 11:33 p.m. near NE 87th Avenue and Fremont Street. They heard it – from quite a distance away.

“Officers found that a ‘book exchange’ box had been destroyed; the remains of wood and books were spread widely around the scene,” a PPB official stated. “Flying debris appeared to have caused minor damage to at least two residences – but nobody was injured.”

The Metropolitan Explosives Disposal Unit (MEDU) and the Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Arson Investigations Unit arrived to join the investigation, but have yet to reveal their findings.

July 12
Mailbox explosion in Glenfair sends debris flying

-3 This explosion obliterated a brick mailbox enclosure, scattering debris across the street for some distance. PPB image

Two evenings later, and 81 blocks to the east, in the Glenfair neighborhood, another very similar huge explosion awoke neighbors, early on Monday July 12,  in front of a home at 148 NE 148th Avenue.

PPB Officers arrived at 1:18 a.m. that morning. What they found was shocking: A brick mailbox enclosure and the mailbox in it had been completely destroyed. Although debris landed as far as to one hundred feet away, there were again no reports of injuries.

And, once again, MEDU and PF&R investigators came out to inspect the damage, and collect evidence. Investigators do not believe any fireworks, legal or not, could have caused such damage in either case, so both explosions – which may or may not be linked – represent a major crime.

Anyone with video of either these incidents, or other information, is asked to email Detective Meredith Hopper Meredith.Hopper@portlandoregon.gov.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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