Parkrose house fire displaces family, kills pets

The family is safe – but read about the extra effort by firefighters to try to save the dog and bunny …

NE 112th Avenue is shut down while Portland Fire & Rescue crews from four stations extinguish a house fire – and race to try to save the occupants’ pets.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The blaze that started up late in the morning of October 13 didn’t kill the humans who lived in the home; but it did claim their pets.

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Parkrose Station 2 crews raced to the fire at 11:47 a.m., and called in a radio report before they arrived, “We can see smoke showing; we’re a couple of blocks away.”

When they pulled up to the house at 3730 NE 112th Avenue, in outer East Portland, crews reported smoke was spewing from the basement and first floor of the structure and went into action – some pulling hose lines; others conducting a search to make sure all residents were out of the burning building.

Firefighters quickly find and extinguish the fire officials say started in the basement.

“Firefighters entered the home and quickly extinguished the blaze which was located in the basement,” reported PF&R spokesman Lieutenant Michael Silva. “Firefighters used ventilation fans to remove heat and smoke from inside the home.”

Across the radio came requests for firefighters to look for two missing pets – a miniature Doberman and a rabbit. It was clear that firefighters wouldn’t stop looking until they found the pets.

Neighbors do their best to comfort residents after resuscitation efforts for the pets is not successful.
While searching the home, Silva later said, firefighters found one dog and one rabbit trapped inside the basement area. “Unfortunately, they were overcome by smoke.”

Engine 12 crew members brought the dog outside and began resuscitation efforts, using the animal CPR kit carried in all “Battalion Chief” command vehicles. Sadly, their efforts were to no avail.

Firefighters remove burned debris, and prepare to remove their water lines.

Volunteers from the Trauma Intervention Program came to assist the family as they worked through this difficult situation.

American Red Cross, Oregon Region, volunteers are helping the three adults with food, clothing, lodging, and mental health services.

“Damage to the home has been estimated at $60,000,” Silva said. Although fire investigators carefully examined the scene, their report indicated: “Ignition source is undetermined.”

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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