Video reporter aids victim at SE Ankeny Court duplex fire

It looks as if the house is charred beyond recovery; but a burn victim received ‘first responder’ help from an unlikely individual …

Switching on his video recorder, reporter Noah Patraw captures this image of the house afire, before his attention turns to a burn victim stumbling at the scene. Frame capture of Noah Patraw video

By David F. Ashton
Usually, freelance “overnight videographers” race to the scene of an unfolding emergency to capture images of first responders in action.

But, when a fire broke out at 12:36 a.m. on April 24, videographer Noah Patraw unexpectedly took on the role of being a first responder himself, when he arrived at the duplex fire at 13209 SE Ankeny Court.

Unaware that he’d not turned off his camcorder, the video shooter’s lens sweeps by a burn victim. Frame capture of Noah Patraw video

Patraw said that after he turned on his camera, he saw what he thought to be a fire victim in distress.

“I found a man with multiple burns, dazed and stumbling around,” Patraw told East Portland News.

The fire burns intensely, as crews fight this fire, first from the outside. Frame capture of Noah Patraw video

“I got him to a grassy area, a safe distance from the fire, and started giving him instructions to keep his wounds from getting dirty,” Patraw continued. And, I tried to help him control his breathing because he was hyperventilating, and I feared he was going into shock.”

He found the Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Battalion Chief at the scene, and pointed out the burn victim. “I finally found the medics and led them to the victim,” Patraw said. “Then I focused on shooting the fire.”

With the burn victim on a gurney, paramedics rush the man to a waiting ambulance. Frame capture of Noah Patraw video

During this time, PF&R Mill Park Station Truck 7 and Engine 7 crews were reporting seeing heavy fire and smoke showing from the garage of the residence.

“Engine 7’s crew began with an initial exterior fire attack with hose lines and then transitioned to an interior effort once the flames were knocked down enough to make it inside,” said PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman.

Firefighters prepare for “vertical ventilation” – reducing the load of smoke and heat inside the structure – by cutting holes in the roof. Frame capture of Noah Patraw video

“Firefighters with Truck 7 laddered the structure, and cut holes to release heat and smoke for the interior crews,” Chatman said. “Additional fire crews assisted with extinguishing the fire.”

Eventually the victim was transported to Emanuel Hospital’s Burn Center. “The extent of the injuries is unknown at this time,” added Chatman.

Fire investigators have not yet release their damage assessment, and the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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