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Yesterday's NE Brazee House Fire: Important Lessons Revealed by Fire Investigation
Yesterday, March 14th at 6:45am fire crews responded to a report of a residential fire in the 4800 block of NE Brazee. A jogger passing by smelled smoke and on investigation noticed the windows of a home smoked up, and immediately called 911.

On arrival fire crews made entry to the home and found it heavily charged with smoke. They found a small fire in a bedroom that had smoldered for some time creating all the smoke. During a search of the residence one female occupant was discovered unconscious in the home. Fire crews removed the patient and began medical aid. The patient was transported to an area hospital where she remains in critical condition from significant smoke exposure.

During the fire investigation, investigators pieced together the moments before the victim collapsed and learned that she had initially escaped the smoke seeking refuge on a porch, but then appears to have gone back inside, possibly to retrieve her pets. Two deceased cats were found near the victim by firefighters. The cause of the fire was an unattended heating pad left on. It was also discovered that this home did not have smoke alarms.

Several very valuable lessons can be taken from this tragic event. First and foremost, smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms are designed to alert occupants of a fire before smoke conditions become too dangerous and occupants still have time to escape. Make sure that there is at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the home, inside every sleeping area or bedroom, and in the hallway outside every sleeping area or bedroom. Test your smoke alarms monthly by depressing the test button until it alarms -- a broom handle works well if it is out of reach. If the alarm does not function, replace it immediately or notify your landlord to replace it immediately.

Once alerted by a smoke alarm, get low and go! Smoke rises, so by crawling on your hands and knees to get out you will keep yourself down where the air is clearer and visibility is better. As you exit the building close doors behind you, especially the door to the room where the fire is, and exterior doors to the building. Closing doors prevents fresh air from fueling the fire and limits the spread of smoke and heat.

Finally, once you get out, stay out! Do not go back inside a building on fire for any reason. Fire fighters are all too familiar with reports of occupants getting out safely and then returning to the building to save others or pets, many times resulting in more deaths and injuries. Instead, be available to arriving fire crews to provide valuable information on the location of other occupants, pets, layout of the home or building, and where the fire is located. Firefighters have the experience, training, and equipment to be highly successful when they are given good information by occupants and bystanders. All occupants of a home or apartment unit should have a designated meeting place to gather once they are out. This is especially important in residences that have front and back doors where people can escape from different locations and not be aware that others are out as well. A neighbor's porch or driveway or a building just across the parking lot are good options.
Please share these valuable lessons with friends and family and practice fire safety and escape plans with children and roommates. Look in on neighbors who may need assistance with checking smoke alarms. Portland Fire and Rescue asks you to be fire wise and working together we can make Portland a safer city for all.

A Public Information Officer will be available all day Friday for comments and interviews related to this release. Please contact for inquiries.
Posted on Thu, 15 Mar 2018 23:39:38 GMT

Claims of Serial Arson Fires Targeting Houseless Community Not Supported by Data
Portland Fire and Rescue is aware of a Press Release sent out Monday March 12, 2018 by the Direct Action Alliance. Portland Fire and Rescue takes the charge of a serial arsonist targeting Portland's houseless population very seriously. PF&R responds to and tracks all reported fires within the City of Portland and investigates every fire to determine its origin and cause. The fire tracking database is updated and evaluated daily for patterns in fire incidents throughout the city. The fires mentioned in the release are in this database along with many others. There are currently no indications of a serial arsonist targeting the houseless community within the City of Portland. However, it is important to note that investigators can only include the information that is presented to them through the course of interviews and fire scene investigation in their origin and cause determination. If any person has information relating to any fires within the City of Portland we strongly encourage them to contact investigators through the fire tip line at 503-823-INFO. Reports to the tip line can be provided anonymously.

Portland Fire and Rescue works closely with our public safety partners to ensure all community members are protected from harm. Police Chief Danielle Outlaw expressed significant support stating, "The Police Bureau wants all people to feel safe in our community, but understands that some may not feel comfortable reporting crimes. I have directed officers to reach out to members of our houseless community during their daily patrols to continue to build trust and discuss methods for reporting crime and why it is important. While Portland Fire and Rescue is the lead investigating agency for arson investigations, the Police Bureau will continue to provide any assistance needed to them during their investigations."

Fire Chief Mike Myers affirmed Chief Outlaw's statement and added that "Portland Fire and Rescue is committed to the goals of zero fire deaths, and zero communities neglected. This can only be achieved with a diligent emergency fire response, accurate investigations, and effective public education, all of which Portland Fire and Rescue is committed to."

Portland Fire and Rescue reminds everyone to immediately report any dangerous or threatening fire to 911. Do not attempt to fight the fire unless you have the proper training and equipment to do so, and please remain safely nearby the scene to assist firefighters with the investigation and salvaging any belongings.

A Public Information Officer will be available all day Friday for comments and interviews related to this release. Please contact for inquiries.
Posted on Thu, 15 Mar 2018 23:28:26 GMT

Monday's 5 Alarm Fire Requires Tremendous Effort to Bring Under Control
On Monday March 12th at 0905 am, Portland Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a report of a fire at a recycling business called NW Metals located near NE 75th and NE Killingsworth. The grounds of this business contained crushed cars and tires intended for recycling.

Within an hour, the incident commander had called for four additional alarms due to a steady east wind and a heavy fire load at the location. Gaining access and providing water supply to the fire scene was complicated by the fact that it was effectively on a "flag" lot with a long driveway and bordered by several large business complexes to the north and east, a residential street and a very steep 40-foot embankment to the west, and fields and park land to the south.

Fire crews had to lay hundreds of feet of hose through the industrial yards of adjacent businesses from the north and east, and sprayed water from ladder pipes over the top of the homes from the west. On the south side, two engines and a ladder truck got stuck in the mud in the park land after many hours of water flow and operating in one place; these apparatus had to be towed out.

A total of seven fire hydrants located on NE 75th and along NE Killingsworth supplied water for the firefighting efforts. Each ladder truck, paired with a supply engine, is capable of flowing 1,500 gallons of water per minute. At the peak of firefighting efforts, nearly half a million gallons an hour was flowing onto the fire (nearly 8,000 gallons a minute). Additional engines were parked at the fire hydrants to overcome lost pressure from the long hose lines providing the water supply.

The Portland Water Bureau was on scene throughout the incident, monitoring water system pressures and opening valves to accommodate the exceedingly high demand for water and pressure in the system. Everything worked as designed and no deficiencies were reported throughout the incident.

Early in the incident, a duplex and two detached homes in the path of the wind-driven flames were destroyed by the fire, displacing four families. 16 pets from the four different homes perished as well.

A total of 23 Engines, 7 Ladder Trucks, 1 Heavy Rescue, 2 Rehab/ Air Units, 9 Chiefs, the Mobile Command Unit, and a full fire investigation team were on scene at the height of operations.

At 11 am, the incident commander made the decision to evacuate the neighborhood to the west of the fire due to significant noxious smoke being pushed by the east winds and blanketing the area. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was monitoring the air conditions throughout the rest of the incident. The fire was knocked down by about 3 pm, but continued to smolder into the night and crews continued to flow water to prevent flare-ups.

Early Tuesday morning, a heavy equipment operator accessed the debris pile and moved cars so that firefighters could better advance on the hot-spots registering on their thermal imaging cameras. Fire investigators were also able to access the immediate fire scene and conduct their cause and origin investigation. The fire was finally extinguished at approximately 2:30 pm on Tuesday, March 13th. Fire crews remained on scene throughout Tuesday night to watch for any flare ups. The fire investigation is still on-going at this time, but an update regarding the fire cause will be provided when a final determination is made.

We would like to thank all area businesses who were impacted by this event and whose business was severely limited or stopped altogether because of the fire and firefighting efforts. Many of these locations offered support to fire crews on scene and opened access to their property for firefighting efforts. Many of these businesses assisted evacuees and fire victims as well, and their efforts were greatly appreciated.

Portland Fire and Rescue would also like to thank numerous partner agencies for their prompt support both at the fire scene and throughout the rest of the city. All neighboring fire jurisdictions that border the City of Portland "moved up" into Portland Fire Stations to cover the emergency calls that continued to come in throughout the city. Inter-agency training, cooperation with equipment design, and shared technology allow these agencies to almost seamlessly take over operations in the city and provide uninterrupted fire and medical service to Portland's citizens.

Partner agencies we would like to thank include:
Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications BOEC -- Dispatch Center coordinating all responses to fire scene, move-ups to cover city, continuation of emergency dispatch for entire city throughout event.
Portland Police Bureau -- Traffic control and evacuation assistance
Multnomah County Sheriff's Office -- Evacuation assistance
Portland Water Bureau -- Critical water supply management
Portland Bureau of Emergency Management -- Coordinated multi-agency response and evacuation notices via public alerts and the community emergency notification system (CENS)
Portland Bureau of Technology Services -- Assisted with GIS and Mapping of EPA testing
Portland Bureau of Transportation -- Traffic Management
Oregon Department of Transportation -- Traffic Management
Pacific Power and Light -- Cut power to affected area to protect firefighters from downed lines and access for ladder pipes (cannot spray water through energized lines)
NW Natural Gas -- Cut gas to affected areas where meters had been damaged/ threatened by fire
Tri-Met -- Provided transportation and shelter busses for evacuees
AMR Medical -- Provided medical evaluations of firefighters throughout incident
The Red Cross -- Provided shelter, food, and assistance to evacuees and pets
Trauma Intervention Program volunteers -- Provided comfort & support to numerous fire victims, evacuees & pets
Multnomah County Health Department -- Coordinated evaluation and recommendations for health concerns due to air quality
Environmental Protection Agency -- Monitored air quality throughout event
OR Department of Environmental Quality -- Monitored air quality throughout event
Portland Public Schools -- Close contact on evacuation status and air quality concerns

Assisting Fire Agencies (Responders and Mutual Aid Providers):
Gresham Fire Department -- Responded to the scene and C701 moved up to back fill coverage
Port of Portland Fire & Rescue (Airport Fire) -- Responded to the scene
Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue -- Back filled fire coverage for City of Portland
Clackamas County Fire District -- Back filled fire coverage for City of Portland
Lake Oswego Fire Department -- Back filled fire coverage for City of Portland
Vancouver Fire Department -- Back filled fire coverage for City of Portland

Resources dispatched to the fire scene over 5 Alarms:
E = Engine
T = Ladder Truck
S = Squad/ Heavy Rescue
C = Battalion/ Deputy/ Division Chief
I = Investigator
Rehab = Rehab/ Air Unit

1st Alarm @ 0905
E12 84th & Sandy Blvd.
E28 Rose City/ Hollywood
E2 Parkrose
E14 Alberta Park
T2 Parkrose
T8 Kenton
T7 Mill Park
C3 SE Battalion Chief
C4 Central Battalion Chief

2nd Alarm @ 0912
S1 Old Town (Special Resource assigned to all 2nd alarms)
E7 Mill Park
E9 Hawthorne District
E11 Lents
E17 Hayden Island
T7 Mill Park
C2 NE Battalion Chief
C103 Downtown Deputy Chief
C102 Downtown Division Chief of Operations
I374 Fire Investigator
PIO351 Public Information Officer

3rd Alarm @ 0927
E30 Gateway
E13 Lloyd District
E19 Mt. Tabor
T13 Lloyd District
E5/RH5 Hillsdale
C104 Special Operations Chief
C200 Training Center

4th Alarm @ 0940
E25 Woodstock
E74 Gresham
E26 Portsmouth
T71 Gresham
C7 Gresham Battalion Chief
C500 Logistics Deputy Chief
I373 Fire Investigator
I371 Fire Investigator

5th Alarm @ 1005
E1 Old Town
E31 Rockwood
E21 Eastbank
E71 Gresham
T10 Burlingame

Additional Units/ Resources Requested by Incident Command
E80/ Foam Truck 86 Req @ 10:12, responded at 10:15 (Port of Portland Fire at PDX)
E24/ Foam Unit 24 @ 11:21 (Overlook/ Swan Island)
Medic 345 & 304 (AMR)
Haz Mat Coordinator (PF&R) @10:44
Rehab 19 @ 11:11
Mobile Command 9 @ 11:39

A Public Information Officer will be available all day Friday for interviews and comments. Please contact for requests.
Posted on Thu, 15 Mar 2018 23:18:05 GMT

Portland Fire & Rescue responds to a Commercial fire in NE
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a commercial fire at Club PlayPen located at 6210 NE Columbia Blvd. at 9:50 this evening. When crews first arrived on scene they reported seeing fire and dark smoke from the roof of the building. Firefighters initially knocked the fire down from the outside. Fire crews then made entry and performed a search for any occupants. Safety was major concern because there was a fire at this location in January of 2018. There were no injuries and an investigator is on scene to determine the cause.
Posted on Sun, 11 Mar 2018 05:27:55 GMT

Portland Fire and Rescue Celebrates Opening of Historic Fire Museum (Photo)
Portland Fire and Rescue announces the grand opening of the new Portland Fire Historic Museum adjacent to Fire Station 1 and next door to Portland's Saturday Market. In contrast to the Historic Belmont Firehouse Learning Center located in Southeast Portland, this museum focuses specifically on the history of firefighting equipment and vehicles. Many beautiful pieces, painstakingly restored by a small, very dedicated team of retired firefighters has brought this incredible history to life and it will now be open to the public!

Media partners- please join us today, March 2nd at Fire Station 1 from 10:00-12:00 for a media only event which will highlight the contrast and change in equipment for firefighters and how far technology has brought us. This event will feature a vehicle extrication demonstration and rope rescue performed by the members of Portland Fire and Rescue's Technical Rescue Team. A demonstration of a cardiac arrest medical response will also occur. Weather permitting rides in the bucket of the ladder truck will be available. Tours of the new museum by the restoration experts themselves will be a highlight of the event! Rain or shine this will occur and covered viewing will be provided if necessary.

All others- please join us Saturday March 3rd for the museum's official opening day. On Saturday visitors can also interact with AT&T's It Can Wait simulator and learn about the dangers of texting and driving.

What: Grand opening of the Portland Fire Historic Museum

Where: 55 SW Ash Portland (Friday- back lot/ Saturday- Northeast corner of building near Saturday Market)

When: Friday **Media Only** 10:00-12:00
Saturday -- Open to public -- 10:00am -- 2:00pm
Posted on Fri, 02 Mar 2018 16:55:14 GMT

Portland Fire & Rescue Respond to Early Morning House Fire in NE
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a residential fire, located in the 1100 block of NE Roselawn St. at 12:05am. When crews first arrived on scene they reported seeing white smoke from the home. Upon initial entry to conduct search and rescue, crews located the fire in the hallway by the back bedroom of the home. It was later discovered that it had spread to the attic, and was actively burning throughout the space. When crews cut holes in the roof to ventilate, heavy smoke and fire showed from the attic space. The fire was a challenge for firefighters to contain, due to the excessive amount of items that were in the home and stored in the attic space. Investigators determined that the fire was caused by the use of many extension cords that were powering various space heaters throughout the home. The extension cords were overloaded, and heated up enough to ignite combustible items that were on top of the cords located in the hallway. The residents were not home when the fire broke out, and there were no injuries to any firefighters.

Portland Fire & Rescue wants to remind citizens to only use extension cords for temporary use, such as for power tools, irons, toasters, etc. It is preferred to use power strips that have built-in breakers, which can stop power surges, and fires from occurring. It is also important to remember that space heaters should always have a distance of 3 feet from any combustible materials.

Working together we can make Portland a safer place to work and live.
Posted on Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:02:54 GMT


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