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NEWS RELEASE 11/10/12: Rodent Bomb Sparks Early Afternoon Fire in Northwest Portland Home

Early this afternoon, Portland Fire and Rescue responded to reports of smoke issuing from the roof of a residence on Northwest 26th and Thurman. Dispatchers received several calls on this fire; one caller indicated that the smoke was only from a 'bug bomb,' and that there was no fire--a complete first alarm assignment continued to the scene to investigate.

Firefighters from Station 3 (Northwest/Pearl District) arrived first on scene and informed incoming crews of active fire beneath the eves of the one-and-a-half story craftsman home. Using ground ladders and pike poles, first-in firefighters went to work gaining access to the seat of the fire. Additional crews entered the structure, making access to void spaces between the walls and roof to prevent spread of the fire beyond the point of origin. Once firefighters gained access, hand lines were used to extinguish the body of fire; exterior personnel cut access holes in the roof to confirm complete containment and extinguishment of the fire. Fire damage was limited to the eves and awnings at the rear of the building.

A "Rodent Bomb" placed by the homeowner into the eves of the home in an attempt to control a squirrel infestation is being blamed for this fire. The "Rodent Bomb" worked for roughly 30 minutes before the original smoke dissipated and the resident quit watching; shortly thereafter a neighbor informed the resident that his roof was on fire.

Rodent bombs carry warnings against use in or under homes; in addition to the fire hazard, many emit chemicals that leave stubborn residue and are toxic to humans and household pets. All persons using such devices are urged to read and follow warnings and directions and to only deploy these devices in a manner consistent with their intended use.

No injuries were reported as a result of this fire. Damage to the structure is estimated at $7,500.

Incident Address:
2661 NW Thurman
Dispatched: 12:27
Arrived: 12:32
Recalled: 12:47

Contact Information:
Firefighter Gabriel Watson
Public Information Officer

Contact info, for media use only:
Gabriel Watson
503-940-6003

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