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Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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NEWS RELEASE 05/20/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to an Overnight Residential Structure Fire at 217 NE Skidmore; One Man Displaced

May 20, 2012

3:59 AM

An overnight fire in a one-and-a-half-story home displaced one man and caused extensive damage to the structure and an adjacent vehicle.  Evacuating prior to the arrival of fire crews, the sole resident was evaluated on scene by fire paramedics and refused transport.

Neighbors telephoned fire dispatch early this morning to report the fire. Engine 24 (Overlook/Swan Island) arrived first on-scene and initiated fire attack; advancing hose lines while searching for additional residents. A primary and secondary search confirmed the absence of additional residents. Rescue of potential victims is the first priority at any incident; fires occurring in residential structures at night are cause for extra concern as evenings are a time during which most people are at home and often sleeping.

Members of Engine 8 (Kenton), assigned to RIT, evaluated the structure for hazards; the team identified a compromised overhead power line and the presence of a difficult to access basement. RIT is an acronym for Rapid Intervention Team; the primary function of a RIT is the provision of firefighter safety and immediate response to a firefighter in need. A RIT is established on every working fire.

Because flames can extend anywhere within a structure, crews checked the entire building for fire. On the top floor of the home crews discovered fire behind the walls. Equipped with tools to "open up" the walls, firefighters gained access to the hidden spaces and extinguished the balance of the fire.

Fire investigators are on scene working to determine and/or confirm the true cause of the fire.  The brother of the resident was en route to the scene to assist the man with making arrangements for the evening.

No damage estimates are available at this time.

Response Times:

01:53 Alarm Dispatched

01:58 First Crews Arrived

02:26 Fire Recalled