At 4:26pm Portland Fire & Rescue Truck 1 (Oldtown) was sent to investigate a fire alarm activation in a downtown apartment building at 309 SW 4th ave. When Truck 1 arrived they found smoke from a third story window and immediately upgraded the call to an Apartment Fire. Additional downtown units were dispatched as Truck 1 and Engine 4 made access to the apartment where the fire originated. Engine 4 discovered the tenant of the apartment was still inside the bathroom. The 50 year old male had been badly burned around his face and had signs of smoke inhalation. The tenant was taken out of the building by fire crews and sent to Emanuel Hospital Burn Center for further evaluation and treatment. The fire had been put out by the buildings sprinkler system and the assistance of an alert neighbor using a fire extinguisher mounted in the hallway. Fire crews were kept busy performing water removal from several apartment units and a chiropractic college located directly below the fire a
partment. Fire investigators evaluated the scene and conducted interviews with the tenant and have concluded that the cause of the fire was a dangerous mix of home oxygen use and cigarette smoking. Fire damage was set at $1000 but that number is expected to markedly increase with repair costs associated to water damage.
Safety message: It is estimated that between the years of 2003-06' approximately 1,190 people suffered burns related to home oxygen use. 73% of those were started due to smoking. Never mix home oxygen and smoking and please help Portland Fire & Rescue spread this education message to anyone you may know who may be at risk of this deadly combination.
*Photo courtesy of Portland Fire & Rescue photographer Greg Muhr.
Contact info, for media use only:
Lt. Rich Chatman PIO, media pgr.503-940-6003
55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204