Lents Burgerville damaged by dumpster blaze

No, this restaurant was not destroyed in the early morning outer East Portland blaze. See what was taking place mere hours after the fire was extinguished …

Portland Fire & Rescue crews arrive along the SE Powell Boulevard side of the Lents Burgerville restaurant to fight a fire that mysteriously started in the fenced trash dumpster area. PF&R Image

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The report of an early morning fire behind the Lents Burgerville restaurant at 3504 SE 92nd Avenue at Powell Boulevard, in the overnight darkness of Wednesday, October 25th, brought multiple Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Engine and Ladder Companies to this “Commercial Fire” at 4:46 a.m.

At 4:53 a.m., a PF&R official reported that crews were already battling a fire in the gated, refuse bin area behind the building, and that fire had extended into the restaurant, primarily coming up from the extended overhanging eaves.

PF&R Mill Park Station 7’s Ladder Company truck gives firefighters easy access the roof as this firefight commences. PF&R Image

After the main body of the blaze is snuffed out, firefighters – both on the ground and on the roof — begin checking for any further hidden fire. PF&R Image

Then, at 5:17 a.m., it was reported that the fire was mostly extinguished. However crews continued to look for fire hidden in the attic spaces of the building.

As part of their work, firefighters pulled down soffit fascia along the north side of the building to make sure fire hadn’t spread into the interior of the building.

In the light of day, the damage to the main burn area become clear.

About noon, an “Open” sign hung on the front door of the fast-food restaurant that was clearly closed due to the fire. The seating area looked untouched by fire.

Some media outlets claimed the building and business would be a “total loss” – but that’s not how it looked by midday.

Outside, mechanical contractors were using a massive crane to lift a large air-handling unit off the top of the building, and had covered a hole in the rear corner of the roof with a canopy to protect the interior from rain damage.

By noon, electric power has been restored to the building, and restoration work is underway.

Later the same day, a cadre of workers were busily working in the burned-out rear area of the restaurant as restoration efforts were clearly underway.

Have information about this fire to share with PF&R?  Call it in to their Fire Tips Hotline at 503-823-3473 and reference Incident No. 23-117006.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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