Shed fire lights up the night sky, in Lents

Although no one was hurt, learn how this blaze was a serious setback to a family in transition …

Fire engines and trucks roll into the Lents neighborhood, filling SE 111th Avenue, to fight a blaze at the very back of the property. David F. Ashton, East Portland News image

By David F. Ashton
It was one of those half-acre very-deep lots in the Lents neighborhood, which gave firefighters difficulties in accessing the fire that had been called in at 8:30 p.m. on March 4.

The crew riding Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Engine 11 rolled up to 5324 SE 111th Avenue, a block west of SE Harold Street, and could see fire and smoke – and found that a large storage building at the back of the property was ablaze.

Firefighters begin to quench the blaze inside this storage shed. Dick Harris, PF&R image

Flames leap out of the smaller shed, touched off by the fire in the larger structure. Dick Harris, PF&R image

“Crews found the facility fully involved, and had to consider the potential for fire spread to surrounding buildings – preventing that was an early priority,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman.

Additional firefighters arrived, taking SE 112th Avenue north to SE Insley Street – a road that dead-ended at the edge of the property in outer East Portland.

The intense fire consumes the contents of the shed, and begins to burn the structure itself. Dick Harris, PF&R image

With combined streams of water supplied by multiple fire engines, fire crews knock down the fire. David F. Ashton, East Portland News image

Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire, but hot spots kept flaring up because of the contents. “Inside was a large amount goods – beds and household furniture,” Chatman said.

“Relatives of the homeowners had recently been storing furniture there. Fire investigators are on the scene now, to determine a cause and to make a damage assessment.”

A PF&R Fire Investigator heads back to the shed to begin examination of the fire site. David F. Ashton, East Portland News image

PF&R Fire Investigators have currently listed this fire’s origin to be of “undetermined cause”. “Fire investigators do not believe this fire was intentionally set.” Chatman informed. “The damage estimate has been set at a total of $75, 000.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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