What sparked this smoky Hazelwood house fire is a mystery

Take a look, and see what’s been learned about a single-family residence fire in outer East Portland this week …

After extinguishing a fire in the basement of what was possibly a vacant residence in the Hazelwood neighborhood, a firefighter heads back inside to look for any live embers, after consulting with a Portland Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After seeing smoke erupting from the basement of a residence at 224 NE 97th Avenue on Monday, February 8, neighbors alerted the 9-1-1 Center. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) was dispatched to the fire at 11:20 a.m. that morning.

The crew on PF&R Engine 19, from the Mt. Tabor Station at NE 73rd Avenue and East Burnside Street was the first to arrive – just three minutes after dispatch.

These crew members bring an unused ladder back to their engine, after the fire has been extinguished.

“When we pulled up, we noticed very heavy dark smoke showing from the basement,” a firefighter told East Portland News. Another remarked that he believed it to be a vacant house.

Aided by firefighters from Mill Park Station 7’s Ladder Truck, a search began inside for any victims, while others from the truck pulled a “Booster Line” hose off the Engine (it’s connected directly to the rig’s internal water tank), and yet other firefighters established water supply lines to a nearby hydrant.

“I’ll bet you that [the fire] was started by people ‘camping’ in the house,” remarked neighbor Larry Williams as he walked by. “There are a lot of homeless along here,” he told East Portland News.

Engine 19’s crew begins packing up, after quickly and professionally putting out the house fire.

A PF&R Battalion Chief present at the time declined to provide any information about the fire; and, as of this writing, no further information is available from any source about this house fire from the bureau. It is believed still to be “under investigation”.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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