Three fires extinguished; one called arson

The accused Hazelwood arsonist, when arrested, didn’t spend a night in jail! Also in outer East Portland, Firefighters put out a shop fire in Lents, and a house fire in Mill Park …

Fortunately, this intentionally-lit grass fire in outer East Portland didn’t spread to nearby buildings in the Hazelwood neighborhood. PPB provided image

Story and most photos by David F. Ashton

In addition to helping fight wildland fires in Clackamas County and the wind-whipped blazes all over the greater Portland area, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews were also kept busy with outer East Portland fires.

Admitted arsonist sets brush fire in Hazelwood

This area burned wasn’t large, but officials say it was ignited on purpose by a transient camping nearby, using a “Molotov Cocktail”, which is visible at the edge of the fire. PPB provided image

After a “Molotov Cocktail” – a crude fire bomb – set a small brush fire near East Burnside Street, just east of the Interstate 205 freeway, on September 13, PF&R crews were dispatched to the area at 4:35p.m., along with Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers.

“East Precinct officers saw that a section of grass along the I-205 freeway was burning, and called it in,” acknowledged PPB Public Information Officer Sergeant Kevin Allen.

This is the plastic bottle, with a wick, that was seized as evidence of arson. PPB provided image
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, before it got out of control. No one was injured, and no structures were damaged.

“About an hour later, East Precinct officers were flagged down by a witness who pointed out the suspect in a nearby tent,” Allen said. “Officers arrested the suspect, who confirmed he lit the fire, with the device.”

45-year-old Domingo Lopez Jr. is booked in connection with the fire, but not charged with arson. MCDC booking photo

Officers arrested 45-year-old Domingo Lopez Jr. and booked him into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 6:45 p.m. that evening, on charges of Reckless Burning and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree. At his arraignment for the two Misdemeanor charges that evening, Lopez was set free, without paying bail, without spending the night in jail. Release Reason: Released on Own Recognizance.

“Arson investigators are also doing follow-up to see if other charges are warranted,” Allen said.

Lents auto repair shop quickly extinguished

In Lents Town Center, firefighters respond to a fire in an auto repair shop.

After a fire broke out in a bay of the Portland Motor Works Service auto repair shop at 9032 SE Woodstock Boulevard, on Monday afternoon, September 14, PF&R crews were dispatched at 5:58 p.m. to the shop.

It took less than three minutes for crews from PF&R Lents Station Engine 11 and Rescue 11 crews to reach the burning business about two blocks away.

Smoke lingers, but firefighters quickly extinguish this blaze.

By acting quickly, the firefighters quickly extinguished what appeared to have been a car fire in a repair bay, before it could spread to the building or other vehicles.

Because it had been dispatched as a “commercial fire”, crews from other fire stations were responding as well – but they were dismissed before they reached the fire scene.

Residential garage fire spreads to Mill Park house

Working in the haze of wildland fire smoke, firefighters put out a house fire in Mill Park.

On September 17, at 6:28 p.m. firefighters were called to a house fire on SE 118th Avenue, between Lincoln and Grant streets – not far from Mill City Park.

Firefighters with PF&R Mill Park Station Engine 7 crew was first to arrive, and reported back to dispatch finding that fire was likely in the home’s garage, and now extending to the house; smoke was seen coming from under the eaves.

While some firefighters searched for potential victims, and found none, others were checking the garage, noting limited visibility, but low heat readings inside.

Soon, a firefighter reported that the fire had actually snuffed itself out. “Had a pretty good fire going in there, and I see effects of the fire and smoke,” a firefighter remarked. Crews stayed for a time to make sure the fire remained completely out.

A PF&R Ladder Truck crew stands ready to cut a hole in the roof to allow hot gasses and smoke to escape the house.

At 6:44 p.m., as a final check to make sure there were no embers in the attic, crew members of Parkrose Station’s Truck 2 Company were authorized to cut a hole in the roof, providing “vertical ventilation” of the home, while others turned on powerful portable fans to provide “positive pressure ventilation”.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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