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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 01/20/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Launch Aggressive Search for Missing Person in SE Portland House Fire

January 20, 2012

2:24 PM 

Video file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-01/549/50992/00008.wmv

Video file: http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2012-01/549/50992/00007.wmv

Portland firefighters were dispatched at 12:14 pm today to a residential fire at8930 SE Rural Street. The first arriving crews reported smoke and fire showing from the basement of the two and a half story home.

Fire crews from Portland Station 11(Lents), 25 (Woodstock), and 29 (Powellhurst) arrived on-scene and quickly advanced hoselines through the front door of the home through a stairway into the basement. Crews encountered moderate heat and smoke.  During this time, crews were informed that there was a possible missing person inside the home and they began an aggressive search of the basement and first and second floors of the home.

During the search, firefighters determined that the fire had extended through the outside basement wall into the first and second floors.  Working together, Truck crews opened up the interior and exterior walls and ventilated the roof to allow the trapped smoke to exit.  This also provided firefighters with better visibility inside the home as they conducted their search and rescue efforts.

The owner of the home arrived and was convinced that her son was still inside the home, possibly in the basement. Firefighters continued searching the home without locating any trapped victims. Portland Fire Incident Commander Dan Buckner encouraged the mother to contact her son by cell phone, and she later confirmed that her son was safety away from the home.

Firefighters from Clackamas Fire Engine 5 arrived on-scene and were designated by Incident Commander Buckner as the Rapid Intervention Team (RIT), or the team of firefighters that are dedicated solely to search and rescue of other firefighters in distress.

An additional Portland truck and engine from Station 7 (Mill Park) were requested to the scene to bring further resources and expertise.

The fire is currently under investigation and there is extensive fire damage to all stories of the home.

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens that fire and smoke can race through your home in seconds.  Each year more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 25,000 are injured in fires that could have been prevented.  To keep that from happening and know what to do if it does, make sure you have a working smoke alarm, have a home escape plan and practice it, and consider a residential sprinkler system.

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