Two-Alarm fire burns garage, office at 82nd Avenue used car lot

Take a look at what remains of this structure, in the Lents neighborhood, after it was charred in this outer East Portland blaze …

Because of heavy fire in the garage of this used car lot on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses, firefighters were required to attack the blaze from outside the structure. PF&R Image by Dennis Weis

Story and most photos by David F. Ashton

The charred “Going Out of Business” banners at the Bob’s Auto Sales, at 5826 S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses, seemed strangely prophetic and ironic after a fire ripped through the business’ two-car garage and office on Saturday morning, March 9.

After several callers to the 9-1-1 Center reported seeing heavy fire there – and hearing explosions, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews were dispatched to this “Commercial Fire” at 8:02 a.m.

With extra firefighters brought in by the “second alarm” callout, the active fire is quickly extinguished in the structure.

The lieutenant on the first apparatus to arrive reported back to dispatchers seeing fire burning throughout the garage area, and into the attached structure – which originally has been built as a home, but was now used as the office of the used car lot.

Due to the intensity of the flames, and the proximity of vehicles to the inferno, the first arriving PF&R Battalion Chief called for a “second alarm” to bring double the amount of apparatus and firefighters to assist.

PF&R Fire Investigators look through the burned rubble of the structure seeking clues for the cause of this fire.

“Fire crews first used ‘defensive tactics’ – that is, they fought the fire from the outside – until it was safe to enter the buildings,” PF&R Public Information Officer Rick Graves told East Portland News as the remains of the business were still smoldering.

Ladder Truck Company crews cut holes in the roof of the office to access the fire in the attic, and to provide vertical ventilation.

With the fire extinguished, firefighters stand down, but stand by to put out any reigniting embers.

At 8:32 a.m. the fire was mostly put out, and the second-alarm crews were released from the scene. Two PF&R Fire Investigators arrived soon after to examine the burned remnants of the buildings. The fire is still under investigation.

“At this time, there are no reported injuries or victims,” Graves reported. Other than, of course, the owner of the burned used car lot, who may be going out of business a bit earlier than he was planning.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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