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A PORTLAND RESIDENT ESCAPES A MORNING HOUSE FIRE ON NEW YEARS DAY (14021 SE Main St.)
This morning at 3:45am Portland Fire & Rescue crews were called to a house on fire at 14021 SE Main St. When firefighters arrived they found heavy fire burning in a front room. Firefighters from Engine 7 (Mill Park) entered the house and began attacking the fire. At the same time the crew of the ladder truck searched for victims and cut a hole in the roof to ventilate flammable fire gases.
The fire was quickly extinguished and the homes resident was located at a neighbors house. The adult male had escaped before firefighters arrived, although he was forced to climb out of a window. The man stated that he woke up to the sound of a smoke alarm. He then opened his door and saw that his exit was blocked by fire. The resident then closed the door and exited through the window.
The Red Cross will be providing shelter for the man as the house is uninhabitable due to the fire damage. Fire investigators were called to the scene and determined that the fire was caused by lights in the Christmas tree. Investigators estimate that the fire caused $25,000 in damage. Investigators also say that the resident saved the portion of the house that he was in by closing the door.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds residents to have working smoke alarms in their homes: on every level, in all sleeping rooms and outside every sleeping area. Without a working smoke alarm this man might not have escaped.
Protect Yourself & Your Family from Radon, January is Radon Awareness Month
Each of us is exposed to a certain amount of radiation each day, most of which comes from natural sources such as radon. Radon accounts for the largest percentage -- more than half -- of radiation exposure that the average person in the United States receives.
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is odorless, tasteless, and colorless. Radon gas is found throughout the world in varying concentrations. Radon forms naturally from the radioactive decay of Uranium in rock, soil, and water. When radon gas is formed, it migrates through the soil to the air above.
Why is Radon Harmful?
Radon breaks down into solid particles know as radon decay products. These decay particles can become trapped in the lungs and may damage tissue by emitting radiation. Over time, exposure to elevated levels of radon increases a person's risk of developing lung cancer. This is the only known health effect. For smokers, this lung cancer risk is even higher.
Can Radon Enter My Home?
The major source of radon in a home comes from the ground beneath it. Radon moves up through the soil and enters through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon gas can become trapped in a home and build to unhealthy levels. Radon can also enter a home through the water supply. Radon can be released into the air during showers and other household uses. However, radon from the water supply is most often minimal compared to ground sources. Any home can have a radon problem, including newly built, well-insulated, and homes with or without a basement.
Should I Test My Home for Radon?
The U.S. Surgeon General recommends that all homes be tested for radon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking a short-term test first that take from two to 90 days and allow for quick results. If your short-term results come back between 4 and 8pCi/L, the EPA suggests following up with a long-term test to confirm your results. Long-term tests run from 91 days to a year and can offer a more accurate measurement. If your short-term results come back over 8 pCi/L, perform another short-term test to confirm the results.
RECOMMENDATION: If your test results are 4 pCi/L or higher, the EPA recommends that you take immediate measure to lower radon levels in your home.
Testing Your Home for Radon
To determine if you have high levels of radon in your home, you have a couple options:
Where Can I Purchase Radon Detectors?
Link here for contact information and a list of measurement companies that can provide radon kits and/or perform radon measurement services in Oregon. You can also purchase a radon measurement test kit from your local hardward or home improvement stores.
Please note that Portland Fire & Rescue does not have radon kits for purchase or donation.
What If the Test Reveals High Level of Radon?
The important thing is not to panic. Radon levels can fluctuate widely over time. Reducing radon levels in your home requires technical knowledge and skill, and typically involves hiring a radon mitigation contractor.
The most common approach to mitigating a radon problem is referred to as sub-slab depressurization or sub-slab suction. This technique draws radon-filled air from beneath the foundation through a pipe using a fan, and vents the radon outside. Sealing cracks and holes in the foundation makes this technique more effective.
Click here for a list of mitigation companies servicing Oregon that have been certified by NEHA or NRSB. Current listings of certified companies can also be found at their respective web sites, www.neha-nrpp.org and www.nrsb.org.
Link here to the State of Oregon's Radiation Protection Services - Radon Gas official website for additional radon information and resources.
PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE FIGHTS A FIRE IN A VACANT RESIDENCE. (SE 97TH AND HOLGATE)
This morning at 10:37 am firefighters were called to the intersection of SE 97th and Holgate. An off duty Portland Firefighter noticed black smoke coming from a house on the Southeast corner of the intersection and called 911. While on the phone the firefighter approached the house looking for occupants. Although the house was reportedly vacant people were seen inside. Two adults (a male and a female) were helped from the house through a window by the firefighter and bystanders. They walked away, but were later located by Portland Police and transported to the hospital for evaluation.
Firefighters from Station 11 (Lents) soon arrived and began fighting the fire. Meanwhile, firefighters from Truck 7 began searching the house for other occupants. No one else was found in the structure. The fire was quickly extinguished and firefighters began looking for hidden hot spots.
A fire investigator was called to determine the cause of the fire. This fire caused an estimated $45,000 dollars in damage. The cause of this fire is still under investigation. This press release will be updated when this information is available.
PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE CALLED TO A FATAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENT (NORTH COLUMBIA BLVD. AND ARGYLE WAY)
This morning at 6:31 am Portland Firefighters were called to the intersection of North Columbia Blvd and Argyle Way. Arriving firefighters found that a four door pickup truck had crashed into a power pole. The pickup had four adult male passengers.
Two of the passengers were able to get out of the truck before firefighters arrived. One passenger was pinned inside the vehicle and the last passenger was deceased. The passenger who was pinned in had to be extricated by firefighters. The three surviving passengers were transported to Emanuel. Two patients were entered into the trauma system, while the third had injuries that were less severe.
Police are on scene investigating and the intersection will remain closed until the investigation is complete.
PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE RESPONDS TO A RESIDENTIAL FIRE (4812 SE 43RD AVE.)
This afternoon at 1:13 pm firefighters were called to a house at 4812 SE 43rd Ave. The homeowner returned from an outing to find smoke coming from the back windows. Firefighters from Station 25 (Woodstock) arrived to find a kitchen fire. The occupants remained safely outside.
The fire was quickly extinguished and fire investigators were called to the scene. No injuries were associated with this fire. Investigators have determined that this fire was caused by an appliance failure. Damages are estimated at $125,000.
Portland Fire & Rescue would like to remind residents to turn off appliances when leaving the house.