Woman rescued from burning house in Mill Park

Learn where firefighters discovered the woman, who was trapped in a blazing house in the Mill Park neighborhood …

Thick smoke billows out, as a firefighter tries to drag a water line through the front door of the burning Mill Mark home. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Story and some photos by David F. Ashton

As a Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) training crew observed, on the morning of April 2, every fire is different, and some blazes can be potentially deadly.

The “Station 92” crew – who are actually trainees from Parkrose Station 2 – arrived well after PF&R Mill Park Station 7, who didn’t have far to go to reach the fire reported at 12245 S.E. Mill Court at 9:11 a.m.

Firefighters douse flames at the back of the burning house. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

“They arrived to find fire coming from the back of the house, and smoke escaping through the windows,” revealed PF&R spokesman Inspector Ron Rouse. “Firefighters began attacking fire, while simultaneously performing a search of the home.”

Over the din of high-pressure water pumps, spraying water, and air rushing from their tanks into their facemasks, firefighters heard a woman’s cry for help.

A woman, trapped upstairs, calls for help from this window.

“A member of the search team heard a woman calling out, and found her on the structure’s second floor,” Rouse reported. “It was obvious that she was in the early stages of being overcome by smoke inhalation.”

After treating the victim at the scene, paramedics transported her to the hospital.

First responders, now joined by additional crews from nearby stations, had their hands full fighting the blaze that engulfed the back of house.

With the fire extinguished, the crew now looks for hot spots among the debris. Dick Harris, PF&R photo

Crews were able to keep the fire in what appeared to be a rear addition to the structure, saving the remainder of the house from more serious damage.

As the smoke cleared, PF&R Battalion Chief Bob Zavodsky commented about the rescue: “This is why we train so diligently. It’s a wonderful feeling to see it come to fruition.”

An Investigator walks around the burned house to make observations.

A fire investigator arrived to determine a cause, and make a damage assessment, both of which have not yet been publicly announced.
“Smoke inhalation is the primary cause of death for victims of indoor fires,” Rouse later advised. “It is estimated that 50-80% of fire deaths are the result of smoke inhalation injuries, including burns to the respiratory system.”

Rouse also recommended that outer East Portland residents take advantage of the Fire Bureau’s “Home Safety Check”. To learn more about this service, see our article showing a “Safety Check” taking place: CLICK HERE.

-6 Having been in what amounted to a “live classroom”, this Engine 92 firefighter-in-training heads back to the station.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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