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News Release
AM Fire in Lents Neighborhood (Photo) - 11/26/22

Morning Fire in SE Portland

Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a fire in deep SE Portland in the Lents Neighborhood at 7:16 AM today. The first arriving engine found a home with the front porch completely engulfed in flames that was extending to the nearby fence. The crew of this fire engine was able to connect to a nearby hydrant and begin an offensive fire attack to extinguish the fire. The second arriving engine found the electrical drop line to the home had been compromised and burned through. This severed power line on the ground posed a bit of a threat to the working crews so emergency tones were sounded and the officer the second fire engine remained near the downed power line to ensure no one in active firefighting duties stepped on the line and injured themselves.

The first arriving truck was sent to the roof to perform vertical ventilation if needed. As they climbed the ladders and positioned themselves on the roof of the home, they reported that the fire had self-vented through the roof. The fire had moved into the soffit above the porch and burned through the roof above the porch but was contained to this attic space and extinguished from the crews on the ground working. An engine company on the ground put ladders up on multiple sides of the home to make sure the roof crews had options of escape had the fire grown in nature and cut them off from their original ladder.

The second arriving truck performed a walkaround the house to aid the command chief in any exposure concerns and then performed a primary and secondary search of the first and second floors of the home. There were no occupants inside the structure and no fire had entered the interior of the home. The basement access was from an exterior door and the first arriving truck forced the door to find the basement space clear of both fire and occupants.

A responsible party arrived and indicated that a tenant of the building may have returned to the structure before the first arriving fire engine arrived and was unaccounted for. This prompted the commanding chief to request the search and rescue group to reenter the home and perform a thorough third search. After this third search of the building there was no one found on the inside and all occupants were out of the home.

The commanding officer was focused on making sure crews remained together and had a crew on the outside of the structure ready to relieve anyone who was becoming low on the available air in the bottle. At one point near the 25-minute mark the commanding officer directed the first crew to stop their tasks and exit the firefighting areas to be replaced by a fresh crew standing by who had a full complement of air available in their bottles to extend a safe working time for all crews on scene.

The power company arrived and was able to tape off the power line where it had been severed but was unable to cut off the power to the line until a few of the hose lines on the ground were moved to allow for the articulating bucket truck could be maneuvered close enough to the location of the elevated line. This moving of the hose lines and positioning the vehicle took mere minutes and shortly the power to the downed line had been cut off and all crews were safe to move in and around this powerline. 

This fire has been completely extinguished and crews are now cleaning up and obtaining new fresh air bottles from the chief’s rigs on scene to get back into service. An investigator has been requested and will work on a cause of the fire after their arrival.

Portland Fire & Rescue would like to thank the power company for their prompt callback to the scene and eliminating the power to the dropped line aiding in the safe extinguishment of the fire.


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