Portland Fire &Rescue along with Gresham Fire were dispatched to a possible residential fire at 0946 today on a property adjacent to the Powell Butte Nature Park in the 4200 block of SE 141st. The first arriving engine reported that there was white smoke pushing out of the eaves of a 2-story home and the back seat crew was directed to begin an investigation of the structure at the address.
Early reports from the back seat crew reported that the home had an active fire in the basement as two other responding rigs arrived on the scene. This crew also reported that all residents had exited the home with one resident in need of a medical evaluation. Crews were given the direction to take an offensive fire attack and stretch hose lines from the engine and engage in an interior fire attack. A request was made for an ambulance to attend to the resident with possible smoke inhalation concerns.
The command officer was proactive in clarifying that the entry to the basement was on the backside of the house and that hose lines would be stretched to the back of the home and then advanced into the basement. While the hose lines were put into place a report was made that there was active fire showing in the second story with the fire running up the interior framing and wall of the house.
The engine crew that was given the task of establishing a safe plan of emergency exit of the structure, the Rapid Intervention Team, was performing a walk around the home to become familiar with the structure and reported that the electrical service power line was arcing and then was severed and had dropped to the ground. After they reported this to command, they stretched “do not cross” safety tape so any member involved and focused on fire suppression activities were not going to be in any danger due to the downed powerline.
This fire grew during the first few minutes after arrival with the amount of fuel on the inside of the home due to excessive clutter and the difficulties at getting to the fire locations. This led to a lot of smoke pushing out under pressure of the windows, the eave line, and seams of the roof.
The first arriving battalion chief took command of the fire, directed a truck to begin opening the roof to aid in the removal of heat and smoke from the inside of the home. Given the large amount of smoke pushing out under pressure, command made certain there were hose lines in place to apply water on any fire along with a backup hose in place and manned to ensure a safe exit for crews on the inside if needed.
With six 4 person crews working 4 different hose lines and opening the roof of the home using saws, control of the fire was gained within 15 minutes of the call being received by the BOEC dispatch center. All crews remained on scene to be certain that all potential fire was located and extinguished.
Some of the challenges the crews faced was the distance from the pumping engine to the structure, the amount of clutter within the home, and the large amounts of vegetation present on the roof. Moving within the home was a challenge and the crews on the roof needed to scrape away the moss to reduce any danger of slipping.
Two residents will be displaced and are working with the Red Cross for lodging assistance. One resident was transported to the hospital for treatment and evaluation. The fire investigations unit is on scene establishing cause.
Portland Fire & Rescue would like to thank our partners at Gresham Fire and Emergency Services, BOEC, AMR, and the power company in their help at the emergency incident. We would also like to remind the public to quickly exit any building in the event of a fire to avoid injury.
Source: Portland Fire Bureau