Two fires blaze in two apartment complexes

While firefighters quickly put out both outer East Portland fires – only 12 hours apart –  residents were displaced …

Fire crews respond to apartment fires in the Foster-Powell and Montavilla neighborhood just hours apart.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Two unrelated fires – exactly 12 hours apart, at two apartment complexes – kept firefighters busy in East Portland.

July 18
Blaze incinerates Foster-Powell four-plex unit

A firefighter from Engine Company 25 looks at the burned rubble that remains, after the blaze was extinguished at this apartment.

A fire that broke out in a small apartment complex in the Foster-Powell neighborhood just before 4:00 p.m. on Monday, July 18, dispatched Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews to 7716 S.E. Mitchell Street.

PF&R Woodstock Station 25’s Engine Company was the first to arrive at this narrow, hard-to-reach four-plex. The crew reported that an apartment was fully engulfed, with flames showing from doors and windows.

After the fire is extinguished, these firefighters prepare to return inside to look for any remaining hot embers than need to be doused.

As nine more PF&R units began to arrive, an emergency priority call went out, notifying all crews that the electric power service line from the unit had burned off at the northwest corner – and was live, energized, and sparking in the street, complicating their efforts.

“Firefighters found that the apartment on fire was threatening a connected structure,” PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons later told East Portland News. “The crews searched to ensure no one was trapped inside, while others worked to extinguish the fire.”

A PF&R Battalion Chief comforts a resident of the burned apartment unit.

A distraught resident, outside the fire line, cried out, “My home has burned, it’s all gone,” to those around her.

“No humans were injured, and one dog escaped; but, sadly, firefighters found a deceased cat in the fire,” Simmons noted. “The fire was quickly extinguished and the other building was preserved; but, the apartment was a total loss,” Simmons reported.

The fire is still under investigation.

July 19
Laundry room fire endangers Montavilla apartment complex

SE Division Street is filled with firefighting apparatus after a fire breaks out in an apartment complex.

An early morning blaze at a no name apartment complex at 9035 SE Division sent firefighters out at 3:55 a.m. on July 19.

“When fire crews arrived, they found a community laundry room on fire,” Lt. Simmons said. “The fire was also burning up the wall of an adjacent apartment.”

Firefighters evacuated residents and worked to extinguish the fire.

Crews check in and around the burn area, making sure this fire has been fully extinguished. PF&R image

“This fire was extinguished quickly; no injuries were reported, but four people and a dog were displaced due to smoke and water damage,” Lt. Simmons informed.

A PF&R Investigator was called to the scene but the cause of this fire remains under investigation.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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