One injured in two-alarm apartment fire near 82nd

Here’s what we’ve learned about this outer East Portland blaze near the Avenue of Roses; and find out why it could have been worse …

After firefighters quickly douse a blaze inside this upstairs apartment in the Foster-Powell neighborhood, ladder truck crews pry open the roof to snuff out remaining embers in the attic and eaves.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

When fire broke out just before 1:00 p.m. on October 1 in an upstairs unit at the Firland Apartments at 8012 SE Raymond Street, several residents called the 9-1-1 Center to report the blaze.

“The fire was burning out the window so much, a window across the way [in a building adjacent to the fire] shattered,” remarked witness Cindy Nelson, who said she was walking her dog when she noticed smoke and fire appearing from between the buildings.

“It seemed like the fire trucks were there immediately – so soon, it was just amazing!” Nelson commented to East Portland News.

On the roof, firefighters check for hot spots. Note how closely the buildings are situated; that’s the reason commanders called for a second alarm.

In fact, the crews from both the engine and ladder truck company of Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Woodstock Station 25 arrived within three minutes of the alarm being sounded.

As they pulled up firefighters reported back to the dispatcher seeing heavy smoke and fire rising from the smaller, most westerly of the three apartment buildings that make up this ROSE CDC owned complex.

As many as twenty rigs, from ambulances to firefighters, respond to the scene of this fire.

Some residents helped others who were less-physical-able to escape from the burning building, as arriving firefighters went through the affected apartments looking for any further victims.

Firefighters from PF&R Lents Station 11 worked with crews of Engine 25 to quickly pull hose lines up to the second story apartment and douse the flames, preventing the fire from spreading to other apartments and buildings.

The ladder truck companies clambered up to the roof, sawing and clawing the roof back, and spraying in water to extinguish the remaining fire that had extended to the building’s attic and eaves.

“Due to the amount of fire, and the proximity of other apartment structures, incident commanders requested a ‘second alarm’, doubling the number of engines, ladder trucks, and personnel called to the scene,” reported PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman. “The fast ‘fire attack’, and the additional resources, kept the fire from spreading.”

There were three occupants were in the apartment in which the fire broke out – one elderly female, and two children – Chatman recounted.

Paramedics attend to a victim suffering from smoke inhalation before she’s taken to a hospital for treatment.

“All of the residents of the building, and the occupants of the originating apartment, escaped before PF&R crews arrived – but the elderly female sustained some smoke inhalation injuries,” Chatman commented, adding that she was stabilized at the scene and transported to a hospital for medical care.

The fire burned with such intensity, a window in the adjacent apartment building shatters from the heat.

This fire remains under investigation, Lt Chatman added.

Disaster responders with American Red Cross Cascades Region provided for the immediate basic needs of all those displaced by the fire – which included five adults, four children, and two pets. The assistance included temporary housing, food, clothing, comfort kits including toiletries, and information about recovery services.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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