Portland Fire & Rescue responded to the report of a house fire at 1249 N Prescott Street at 10:30 a.m. on February 2, 2011. The caller screamed that the fire department was needed, then hung up, then refused to talk to the dispatcher when call-backs were attempted.
It appears that tenants were using a hole in the floor as an ashtray. “If that’s true, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there was a fire,” stated Public Information Officer Paul Corah. “That’s not careless smoking, that’s stupid smoking.” Corah reminds smokers to use ashtrays and properly dispose of all smoking materials.
Engine 24 was the first unit on scene, arriving less than three minutes after being dispatched. The fire was under control within 20 minutes, and damages were about $30,000.
Portland Fire & Rescue also reminds the community that staying on the line with the 9-1-1 dispatcher and answering questions will help first responders understand the situation before they arrive. Answering questions does not delay response. The person who answers your 9-1-1 call is a trained dispatcher. They will ask you questions to determine what kind of help you need: fire, police, or medical. Be prepared to state the nature of the emergency, and please answer all the questions, keep your answers as short and direct as possible.
Questions could include:
What is the location?
Where are you calling from?
What is your name?
What is your phone number?
While on the phone with the call taker, emergency help is being dispatched. Staying on the line, if asked to do so, will NOT delay help from responding units. If it is possible and does not compromise your safety, please do not hang up the phone until the 9-1-1 call taker says it is okay to hang up.