At 4:23 am, Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to reports of smoke and flames coming from an apartment at 109 NE San Rafael. Firefighters from Portland Fire Station 13 (Lloyd District) arrived at the scene in less than four minutes. Firefighters immediately deployed hoselines and ladders to gain access to the second floor apartment and aggressively attacked the fire.
The occupant of the apartment reported that he was in the shower at the time of the fire. When he emerged, he noticed smoke and flames coming from the heating unit in the living room of his apartment. He immediately evacuated and called 9-1-1. The man suffered smoke inhalation and was treated by Portland firefighter/paramedics before he was transported to Emanuel Hospital for evaluation.
There are over 30 units in the apartment complex. During the fire, the main electrical line coming into the complex was compromised due to fire so the utility company shut off power to the complex.
"With temperatures dropping into the 20's, we are concerned for the well being of residents who will not have electricity or heat for an undetermined amount of time," said Battalion Chief Craig Funk. "Portland Fire is working with the Red Cross to temporarily relocate residents until electricity is restored."
Fire Investigators determined that the cause of the fire was electrical in nature. Damage is estimated at $30,000.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens to make sure all receptacles, switches and electrical components in your home are in good working order. Also, consider consulting a licensed electrician to provide an evaluation of such components. Worn receptacles and cord ends can provide resistance to electrical current creating excessive heat which can cause a fire.