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A busy night and early morning of intentionally set arson fires began just before midnight on Wednesday, January 15th:

 

  • At 11:30 pm, Engine 12 was requested by Portland Police Bureau officers to respond to a fire call where they found a smoking object inside a business at NE 102nd and Sandy Blvd. Firefighters found no active fire but did assist with removing smoke from the structure. Fire investigators were called to the scene and determined that a burglary and arson fire had occurred. This location is across the parking lot from a previous burglary and arson fire that occurred on January 9, 2020. No one was injured in either fires.
  • Construction crews had set up two storage containers and two portable toilets for a residential construction project at N Maryland Ave. and N Holman St. Investigators believe someone set the two toilets on fire, but they have no determination on motive or potential suspects. Both toilets, the two storage containers and its contents were heavily damaged. The fire was reported to Bureau of Emergency Communication (BOEC) 911 dispatchers at approximately 1:30 am. PF&R fire investigators are calling this fire arson.
  • At 2:35 am, firefighters responded to a house fire at NE 140th and Oregon Ct. where they found a small fire in the basement of a home. The fire was put out quickly and no one was injured. Fire damage to the home was minimal; smoke and water damage assessments have not been determined at this time.  Fire investigators examined evidence at the scene, took witness testimony from all of the occupants of the home and concluded that the cause of this fire was suspicious (not arson).
  • The fourth in the string of incidents happened at 3:45 am when downtown Portland firefighters were dispatched to a “high-rise fire” at the US Bank Tower on SW 5th and Oak St. Firefighters found one stairwell was filled with smoke and eventually located and extinguished some combustible material on the sixth floor. Fire Investigators are not releasing information regarding what material was on fire, but they have determined that it was intentionally set and are calling this fire arson.  

*Fires in high-rise buildings are especially hazardous for occupants and firefighters due to the difficulty traveling in (firefighters) or out (occupants), the limited number of stairwells, the number of potential occupants inside, and the potential size of fire spread to name just a few.

 

FIRE INVESTIGATORS WOULD LIKE ANYONE WITH INFORMATION REGARDING ANY OF THE ABOVE FIRES TO CALL 503-823-INFO (4636). IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THESE TYPES OF FIRES ARE STOPPED BEFORE ANY OF OUR FELLOW PORTLAND RESIDENTS ARE HARMED. 


Posted on Thu, 16 Jan 2020 20:06:58 GMT



PF&R to Demo Electric Hybrid Fire Engine at City Hall, Portland International Raceway

In support of the City’s climate action goals, Portland Fire & Rescue is excited to test a new hybrid electric Concept Fire Truck (CFT) built by Rosenbauer on Monday, January 13th. The CFT Engine will be on display at City Hall from 11:45-12:45 pm. Portland Fire will then test drive the hybrid engine for operational performance and pump capabilities at Portland International Raceway at 1:00 pm. These events are open to the media. Rosenbauer representatives from Austria and the US will be available to answer questions.

The Rosenbauer CFT is equipped with two electric motors, which considerably reduce the noise and pollutant load compared to ordinary fire vehicles. Its electric drive is enough for 30 minutes of electrical operation and can also drive the extinguishing water pump. For a smooth and longer deployment, an additional diesel-operated range extender is installed in combination with a generator. The eco-efficient diesel engine produces significantly lower exhaust emissions than a standard fire engine.


Posted on Thu, 09 Jan 2020 20:12:48 GMT



Extreme Clutter Complicates Firefighting Efforts In SE PDX

At 3:50pm PF&R crews were dispatched to a townhouse fire at SE 131st & Division. SE PDX Crews arrived to find a single townhouse with dark smoke showing from the windows and eves. They were able to search the home and extinguish the fire within 15min. This prevented fire spread to adjoining units which is a key threat at a time of day when firefighters expect many children to be home from school often times before parents. 

An issue that did complicate firefighting efforts though was the amount of clutter in hallways and stairwells. Within the first few seconds of entering the structure several firefighters reported extreme clutter in the home so that all responders would be aware of the dangers. This hazard makes it difficult for firefighters as they try to navigate the home to locate the fire or find victims but it is especially hazardous for them if/when they need to evacuate the home quickly. 

The one adult occupant was not at home and no other injuries were reported. Fire Investigators are still compiling witness testimony and evidence from the scene to determine a cause. 

 

**SAFETY MESSAGE**

 

Although no cause has been determined, Portland Fire Investigators did want to send a couple reminders to residents:

-Never disable smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives and property!

-Smoke alarms alert everyone in the area of a developing fire; with them many fires can stopped before they become a real problem.  

-Clutter can be a serious safety hazard. At minimum please keep all hallways, walkways and emergency exits clear. This is for your safety and the safety of firefighters responding to your emergency!  

 


Posted on Tue, 07 Jan 2020 08:32:29 GMT



Extreme Clutter Complicates Firefighting Efforts In SE PDX Townhouse

At 3:50pm PF&R crews were dispatched to a townhouse fire at SE 131st & Division. SE PDX Crews arrived to find a single townhouse with dark smoke showing from the windows and eves. They were able to search the home and extinguish the fire within 15min. This prevented fire spread to adjoining units which is a key threat at a time of day when firefighters expect many children to be home from school often times before parents. 



An issue that did complicate firefighting efforts though was the amount of clutter in hallways and stairwells. Within the first few seconds of entering the structure several firefighters reported extreme clutter in the home so that all responders would be aware of the dangers. This hazard makes it difficult for firefighters as they try to navigate the home to locate the fire or find victims but it is especially hazardous for them if/when they need to evacuate the home quickly. 



The one adult occupant was not at home and no other injuries were reported. Fire Investigators are still compiling witness testimony and evidence from the scene to determine a cause. 



 



 



**SAFETY MESSAGE**



 



Although no cause has been determined, Portland Fire Investigators did want to send a couple reminders to residents:



-Never disable smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives and property!



-Smoke alarms alert everyone in the area of a developing fire; with them many fires can stopped before they become a real problem.  



 



-Clutter can be a serious safety hazard. At minimum please keep all hallways, walkways and emergency exits clear. This is for your safety and the safety of firefighters responding to your emergency!  


Posted on Tue, 07 Jan 2020 08:24:43 GMT



New Community Themed Mural Unveiled at Portland Fire & Rescue Headquarters (Photo)

On January 3, a new piece of public art was installed at Portland Fire & Rescue’s main administrative building at SW Ash Street and Naito Parkway. The colorful mural by Portland artists Addie Boswell and Antwoine Thomas was commissioned by Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone and managed by the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC).

When Fire Chief Sara Boone was sworn in, she communicated that the three areas she considers to be the pillars of Portland Fire & Rescue are community, service, and sacrifice.

In her first weeks, Chief Boone installed new lighting and painted an accent wall behind the portrait of Chief David Campbell, one of Portland Fire & Rescue’s most notable former chiefs. She wanted Chief Campbell’s portrait to be an area of focus because Campbell, who died in a fire, symbolizes the service and sacrifice every firefighter commits to when they are sworn into duty. Chief Campbell tragically died in the line of duty during a 1911 fire when he entered a building to make sure all firefighters had retreated; the building collapsed upon him before he could get out. Chief Campbell made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure his firefighters were safe.

Chief Boone also wanted to add a mural on the wall leading to the chief’s office to showcase the bureau’s deep connection to the community it serves. She wants to make sure that everyone who walks down the hallway to the chief’s office knows that they are welcome and included. The bureau engaged RACC to manage the project. The project was funded with percent-for-art dollars that earmarks the costs of certain City improvements for public art.

Through a paneled public process, Boswell and Thomas’s submission themed “It takes everyone to create community” was selected and commissioned. The colorful painting, now titled “Vibrant Cities Don’t Burn,” creates a bright tapestry of Portland imagery stitched together with symbolic threads denoting PF&R’s history and work. A flutter of 36 butterflies representing each of the 36 Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters lost in the line of duty (as noted by the downtown firefighters’ memorial) fly in the direction of Chief Campbell’s portrait down the hall. Among the scenes of nature and people working in harmony are roses, which are both a symbol of the city and the centerpiece of PF&R’s logo. The work honors the sacredness of the land and people who came before us. The piece is imbued with so many surprise bits of symbolism that a key will accompany it on the wall.

“I want to thank the artists for creating this celebratory, inclusive, and engaging piece of work that will greet those who head down the hall to the chief’s office. I appreciate the level of commitment and understanding that the artists put into this work as visual and visceral representations of service and community,” says Fire Chief Sara Boone. “Images are powerful and they play a meaningful role in who feels welcomed in certain spaces. Those who head down this hallway will understand our history and know that we are going into the future together. This artwork highlights the best of our city and Portland Fire & Rescue.”

Video on this project can be accessed at:

Chief Boone talks about the mural with the artists: https://vimeo.com/382706008

Video of the mural installation: https://vimeo.com/382693864


Posted on Mon, 06 Jan 2020 19:00:10 GMT



Low Grade Extension Cord Use To Blame For Early Morning SE PDX Fire (Photo)

At approximately 1:14 am, dispatchers at the Bureau of Emergency Communications began receiving multiple phone calls regarding a travel trailer on fire in the Mill Park neighborhood at SE 108th & Stark. Firefighters from Engine and Ladder Truck 7 arrived first and reported an approximately 20’ travel trailer was fully engulfed in flames. The crew had the fire under control within a few minutes after confirming the one elderly occupant had made it out. That person was transported to Emanuel Hospital Burn Center with life-threatening burns and inhalation injuries. 

Fire investigators have evaluated the charred remains of the travel trailer, taken statements from witnesses, and have concluded that the most likely cause of this fire was improper use of a low grade extension cord.

Please seethe attached  photograph that shows where the badly burnt and melted two prong (no ground wire) extension cord had been wrapped around an object. This is what investigators believe caused this fire.

 

***SAFETY MESSAGE***

 

Portland Fire & Rescue would like to remind residents that 2019 has been a bad year for major injuries and fire fatalities (7 deaths, dozens of serious injuries). 

Peak fire season for fires that are electrical in nature is November through March and the most serious injuries and fatalities happen at night. 

Please remember the following recommendations: 

  • Never use extension cords for extended periods of time. 
  • Never use extension cords for heating appliances.
  • Only plug one heating appliance into a single socket
  • If you do need  extra extension, use a power strip with a light and a switch
  • Check to see if your appliances carry at age with a URL or other approved laboratory test 
  • Don’t let your space heater become a “space invader” -keep all combustibles at least 3 feet away from your heating source.

Posted on Tue, 31 Dec 2019 23:11:22 GMT



 

 
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