Outer East Portland blaze displaces elderly resident

It was the neighbors, officials say, who saved this woman when fire broke out and threatened to burn down her house. Find out more about this rescue, right here …

Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters attack a fire that caused considerable damage to this NE Portland home. Dick Harris/PF&R photo

Story by David F. Ashton
Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) firefighters jumped into their “turnouts”, as dawn began spreading across outer East Portland on September 8th – heading out for a fire at 6:57 a.m.

“Portland firefighters were responding to reports of heavy smoke coming from a two-story residence at 2100 block of NE 81st Avenue,” reported PF&R spokesman Paul Corah.

But, when the firefighters arrived on-scene four minutes later, they learned that two employees from the Banfield Pet Hospital building, just south across NE Tillamook Street, had called first in the fire report, and then rushed to the house and started banging on the door to rouse residents inside the blazing home.

Four PF&R Engine Companies and one truck Company respond to fight this fire. Dick Harris/PF&R photo

The efforts of these neighbors was apparently successful, as an 89-year-old woman – the lone occupant of the house – first responded to the banging on her door by looking out her window, and then came to the door. apparently unaware that her home was on fire.

“Heavy smoke was coming from the second floor of the structure, and fire had spread to the attic,” Corah continued. “Fire crews began searching for the source of the fire, and went through the residence to make sure there were no other occupants inside the home.”

Firefighters douse flames that got up into the attic and roof of this home, from a fire that reportedly started in the back of the home. Dick Harris/PF&R photo

The elderly woman was transported to a local hospital for an unrelated medical issue, but is now reported to be in good condition. Although she is now displaced, the victim’s family arranged for her to move to another residence in Portland.

A PF&R Investigator inspected the heavily smoke-damaged home, and reported that there was some kind of electrical problem in the wall.

Hours after the fire, family members and contractors were on-scene, assessing the damage and planning their restoration effort. David F. Ashton photo

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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