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January 1, 2012
At 12:06 am Portland Fire and Rescue responded to a report of a house fire at 1304 S.W. Spring Garden St. When Portland Fire Station 10 (Burlingame) arrived they found fire coming from the back of the house. Firefighters quickly learned that no one was home at the time of fire. The fire was controlled within 20 minutes, but the fire did extensive damage to the house on the first floor as well as the second floor. A next door neighbor was awakened after hearing popping sounds. When she looked out her window and saw the fire she called 9-1-1 right away.
Firefighters will be on scene for the next couple hours overhauling the fire and looking for hot spots. Fire investigators were called in to help determine the cause of the fire. At this time we have no estimates on the damages or cause of the fire.
Portland Fire & Rescue
January 1, 2012
Portland and Fire responded again today to reports of a jumper off of the Interstate 205 Bridge. This is the second jumper from the bridge in the past three days. At 4:13 p.m., dispatchers received a call from a man who witnessed an individual, described as a female in her mid thirties, jump from the southbound lanes of the bridge above the North Channel of the Columbia River. The individual who jumped from the bridge was seen struggling in the river for a short time before submerging.
A Water Rescue Incident was dispatched at 4:13 p.m.; upon receiving details of the incident, Commanders balanced the response to a Dive Incident. Though the Dive Van, a vehicle that transports divers and equipment, is located at Portland Fire Station 1 (Old town), many other dive team members are dispersed throughout the city allowing for rapid response to all area waterways. This afternoon divers responded from Station 2 (Parkrose), Station 7 (Mill Park), and Station 1 (Old town). Land based resources from Portland Fire Station 12 (Sandy Blvd.) arrived on scene and assumed command until the arrival of Battalion Chief 3 a short time later. Fireboats from Station 17 (Hayden Island), Vancouver Fire, Port of Portland Fire, and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office also responded. Firefighters located the witness and worked to determine the last seen point of the individual who jumped; establishing a quality last seen point is crucial in determining a location from which to begin search operations-this would not have been possible without the willingness of the witness to remain on scene until the arrival of fire crews.
Fireboats from multiple agencies worked to establish a plan for shuttling divers and equipment to the last seen point, Fireboat 17 began dragging for the individual immediately. As divers arrived on scene and prepared to dive, high current and excessive amounts of debris, the result of recent rains, presented an extreme hazard to water based units. As darkness set in, dive team operators and Incident Command made the difficult decision that deterioration of conditions had reached the point at which divers would be unable to safely operate. Fire boats remained on scene searching for the individual until 6:15. The individual who jumped has not been located.
On December 30th, at 1:13 p.m., crews responded to another jump incident at the same location. Crews aboard a fireboat from the Port of Portland, working with Portland Fire units on-shore located the individual who was in cardiac arrest. Resuscitative efforts were initiated without delay; it is unknown whether the patient survived.
During the same period this afternoon that search and rescue efforts continued on the I-205 incident, two additional calls for marine response were received. First, a boat fire that turned out to be a large bonfire on-shore; second, a report of two individuals in the Willamette River near Oaks Park-a rescue craft from Portland Fire Station 1 (Old town) made contact with the individuals who had reached the shore and determined that neither had a medical need. A Rescue Boat from Station 21 (Eastbank/Hawthorne) was able to recover the kayak the two were forced to abandon mid-stream.
Portland Fire reminds individuals who are depressed or suicidal that resources are available; Multnomah County has crisis and suicide counselors available by telephone 24 hours a day/7 days a week who can be reached at (503) 988-4888 or 1-800-716-9769. Individuals fearing imminent harm to themselves or others are urged to call 911 immediately.
Portland Fire & Rescue
January 2, 2012
Portland Fire crews from across the city responded to three fires in as many hours this morning--capping off a busy New Years weekend. Already this year crews have been dispatched to more than 250 emergencies, eighteen of those emergencies fire related.
At 6:49 a.m., crews from Portland Fire Station 13 (Lloyd District) arrived at 1937 NE Pacific, to a two-story home with fire showing from the back corner of the building. The building, reported to dispatch as possibly vacant, required firefighters to forcibly enter the structure before an interior fire attack could begin. Once access to the interior was made crews searched the structure for occupants while others placed water on the fire. As is common in most older homes, the construction in this building allowed fire to spread between void spaces in the walls; one crew was sent to the second story to open walls, search for fire extension and extinguish hot spots. The fire was brought under control at 7:08, though crews remained on scene until 8:47 to ensure complete extinguishment. The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
At 6:56 a.m. while crews were still actively engaged in the Pacific firefight, an engine from Portland Fire Station 14 (Alberta Park) responded to reports of smoke in a commercial structure at 4120 NE Fremont; crews arrived to find the windows of the occupancy blackened by smoke--an indication of smoldering fire. Again crews were forced to enter a locked structure; once inside they found the structure full of smoke, the result of a smoldering electrical fire. A truck company from Station 1 (Old town) was called to assist the engine company; exhaust fans and salvage equipment were used to remove smoke from the building and perform salvage and overhaul, the processees of removing burned or damaged contents from a building and preventing further damage. Firefighters limited damage to an estimated $40,000--the building is valued at 1.8 million dollars. Engine 14 and Truck 1 remained on scene working until 9:17.
A third fire, this one at 15529 SE Harrison, dispatched at 9:36 a.m. The caller, the son-in-law of the buildings owner, arrived to perform maintenance work on the home and discovered smoke under pressure issuing from roof vents and cracking sounds--he immediately called 911. An engine from Portland Fire Station 31 (Rockwood) was first to arrive and confirmed a working structure fire. Firefighters entered on the first floor of the building to find the entire ground level clear of smoke and fire--without hesitation, firefighters searched the structure and fire attack crews located and made entrance into the attic which was engulfed in flames.
Concurrently, crews from truck 7, equipped with both chain and circular saws, were sent to the roof to cut holes; this firefighting tactic is referred to as "vertical ventilation" and allows heat and smoke to escape the enclosed area and dramatically improves conditions for firefighters operating inside. The fire was brought under control (recalled) at 9:59 and crews remained on scene working until 10:37 a.m. Damages were estimated at $8,650. Electrical wiring was determined to be at fault for this fire.
These fires come in the same week that three concurrent fires challenged the Portland Fire Bureau during the early morning hours of December 28th. Yesterday, marine resources were called to overlapping marine incidents: a jumper from the I205 bridge, a reported boat fire, and a surface rescue of two kayakers in the Willamette river. Contingency planning within the system allows fire response to overlapping incidents without compromise to response times or safety--something that would not be possible without adequate resources, appropriate distribution of personnel and apparatus, and cross trained firefighters.
Last year Portland Fire and Rescue responded to more than 3,000 fire incidents and more 68,000 emergency calls.
Portland Fire & Rescue
(December 25 - 31, 2011)
Total Incidents: 1,229
Major Incidents: 5
Portland Fire & Rescue
January 4, 2012
At 10:11 am, Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to reports of Anhydrous Ammonia (NH3) leaking from a rail car behind 10627 N. Swift Ct.
Firefighters from the Portland Fire Station 26 (Portsmouth/University Park) were the first to arrive and assumed command of the incident. PF&R's HazMat team from Station 7 (8 Firefighters) also responded to assist with the incident along with Station 22 (St. Johns).
Equipped with self-contained breathing apparatus, two members of our Hazmat Team approached the rail car with their sophisticated monitoring equipment to identify the chemical and measure how much, if any, was released.
According to Lieutenant Alan Bronson, a concentration of 300 ppm is considered an IDLH, or an immediate danger to life and health. The monitoring equipment was maxed out at its 200 ppm limit. Because of these high levels, Incident Command made the decision to withdraw the entry team to increase the level of their protective clothing and get additional monitoring equipment.
After donning their Level-A suits they re-entered the hot zone, along with two HazMat Technicians from Union Pacific railroad to locate and stop the leak. It was determined that a malfunctioning pressure relief valve was the source of the leak. After changing out breathing air bottles, the team was able to repair the leaking valve enough to significantly reduce the concentration.
The rail car is back in the custody of Union Pacific Railroad and no civilians or firefighters were injured in this incident.
2 Battalion Chiefs
1 HazMat Unit
1 HazMat Recon Unit
1 HazMat Coordinator
28 Total Personnel
Photos Courtesy of Dick Harris.
Portland Fire & Rescue