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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

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55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Christmas, and Every Other Day of the Year, Portland Firefighters Stand Ready

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Most people spend the winter holidays with their friends and family. But for those in the business of keeping people safe like police and firefighters, many times their careers require them to be at work and on duty during the holidays.

Close to 170 Portland firefighters spent Christmas at 30 stations located across the City of Portland. Portland firefighters work a 24-hour shift that spans from 8:00 am to 8:00 am the next morning. On Christmas, the 170 firefighters were away from their families.

Most firefighters are used to working holidays.  Several firefighters at Portland Fire & Rescue that don’t have young children work for those firefighters who do, offering them time with their family to build memories and be there to take part in holiday traditions.

Christmas is just like the other 364 days of the year in terms of providing service to the community.  Firefighters were ready to respond to any emergency call that came in, including public assists, medical issues, assaults, commercial, residential and vehicle fires, and traffic crashes.

One of those emergency calls was for a traffic crash on the Powell Blvd exit off the Northbound I-205 freeway. The engine and truck from Portland Fire Station 7 (Mill Park) were dispatched, alongside crews from Station 11 (Lents), Station 19 (Mt.Tabor) and Station 25 (Woodstock).  This large response of fire personnel was because the crash occurred at a freeway exit, was surrounded by fast moving traffic, and units had limited access to the scene.

Firefighters provided medical assistance to all citizens involved in the four-car crash. They also helped collect Christmas presents in the back of the vehicles, and hand them over to relatives to ensure Christmas was not ruined.

Firefighters throughout the city were busy the entire day, responding to close to 200 calls for service, but tried to hold a holiday dinner at most fire stations. Between calls, firefighters roasted ham and turkey, and invited family to come by with side dishes. But, more often than not, as they sat down for dinner, a call came in, leaving the firefighters to respond to the incident and the food to cool.

Photos by Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue Photographer.

  Portland Fire & Rescue

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  December 28, 2011

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NEWS RELEASE 12/29/11: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Second Medical Oxygen Fire Victim this Month

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December 29, 2011

10:09 PM

At around 5:00 pm firefighters from Portland Fire Station 7 (Mill Park) responded to a burn call at 12530 S.E Powell. Upon arrival, firefighters found a male patient who was suffering from burns to his face.

According to the patient's wife, she heard a noise in the bathroom and when she entered the room, she found her husband in severe pain. The nasal cannula that was attached to his face to deliver his supplemental oxygen was on fire. She immediately left the room, shut off the oxygen flow, and called 9-1-1. The patient told firefighters that he was smoking a cigarette just prior to the fire starting. He suffered burns to his face, nose, and lungs. The patient was transported to the Oregon Burn Center for treatment. A Fire Investigator was called to the scene to determine the cause of the fire.

"If you use oxygen or if you live in a household where someone uses supplemental oxygen, you should never smoke anywhere near the equipment. Doing so puts you and others in considerable danger," said Portland Fire & Rescue Deputy Chief Duane Bray.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that between 2003 and 2006, hospitals treated an estimated 1,190 people for burns related to home oxygen use. Eighty-nine percent of those treated suffered facial burns. This is the second time this month that Portland Fire & Rescue has responded to a burn patient who was smoking while using medical oxygen. This month's earlier incident resulted in a woman's death.

Portland Fire & Rescue

We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

December 29, 2011

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Station 13 Firefighters Bring Christmas Presents to Children Seriously Hurt in Salem Apartment Fire

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Photo of the Apartment after the fire was extinguished, courtesy of FOX 12 News

On Friday, December 16, 2011, firefighters in Salem responded to a 3-alarm fire in a four-apartment building. Upon arrival, Salem firefighters observed flames shooting from upstairs units and an adult trying to escape from an upstairs window. Firefighters found four unconscious people in one of the top story units; a 6-year-old girl, a 10-year-old girl and their parents. They were taken to a local area hospital and then later transported to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

Station 13 Firefighters

When Portland Fire Station 13 (Lloyd District) Captain Rob Hutchens heard that the two young girls would most likely spend their Christmas in Legacy Emanuel’s Pediatric Intensive Care (PIC) Unit, he rallied the firefighters at his station into action.

Firefighters traveled to Toy N Joy where they shopped for and wrapped presents for each girl, carefully choosing wrapping paper that would distinguish the presents between the two kids. After contacting and gaining approval from the children’s grandmother, Captain Hutchens and firefighters on the truck and engine crew traveled to Legacy Emanuel with toys in hand.

Station 13’s truck and engine crew were pleasantly surprised to learn that one of the child they expected to find had been sent home.  The other was still being treated.  Firefighters left the presents for both children with the PIC Unit nurses just as they were dispatched out to respond to an emergency call.

  Portland Fire & Rescue

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  December 30, 2011

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PF&R Incident Statistics: December 18 - 24, 2011

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Incident Statistics:

(December 18 - 24, 2011)

Total Incidents: 1,081

Medical: 858

Fire: 46

Other: 177

Major Incidents: 4


  • 12/19/11@ 1447 hrs, Residential Fire, 3500 block of SE 62nd Ave. Loss: $40,000 Cause: Masonry fireplace ignited interior wall framing
  • 12/20/11@ 0126 hrs, Traffic accident with patient entrapment. N Tillamook & N Interstate Ave. Two patients extricated and transported to area hospital.  
  • 12/20/11@ 1453 hrs, Trauma patient trapped between floors of a structure. 5000 block of SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy. Extricated and transported to area hospital.
  • 12/23/11@ 1337 hrs, Residential Fire, 13200 block of SE Stark St. Loss: $20,000 Cause: Faulty woodstove installation

Year to Date Incident Statistics:

(January 2, 2011 - current)

Total Incidents: 67,936

Medical: 54,505

Fire: 2,931

Other: 12,490

Major Incidents: 175


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   December 30, 2011 


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NEWS RELEASE 12/30/11: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Residential Fire with Fatality in North Portland

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December 31, 2011

5:00 PM


Investigators have determined that 41-year-old Jason Ross Brown died of carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of a fire at his residence located at 6219 North Concord Avenue on December 30, 2011.

After the fire, Investigators discovered a marijuana growing operation within the residence. According to the Portland Police Bureau, Ross was a valid medical marijuana card holder but the growing operation was in excess of what he was allowed to legally grow and possess.

Investigators have yet to determine the fire's cause, but estimate that damage to the residence is $225,000.



December 30, 2011

10:34 PM

At 7:05 pm, Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to reports of a house on fire at 6219 North Concord Avenue.

Firefighters from Portland Fire Station 24 (Overlook/Swan Island) arrived first on scene to find heavy fire coming from the basement and garage, which were beneath the home at street level. With the fire spreading rapidly, firefighters pulled one hose line to the basement and a second to the first floor. When firefighters entered the first floor through the front door, they discovered a middle-aged male on the floor just inside the door who was deceased.

The fire fully involved the basement and was so extensive that it burned a 6 foot by 18 inch hole through the floor between the first floor and basement. This serious safety hazard prompted the Incident Commander to issue an advisory to firefighters on scene.

"A major concern tonight was making sure that the structure was not compromised and that firefighters could safely attack this fire from the interior and continue searching for trapped victims," said Portland Fire Battalion Chief Dan Buckner.

The fire was brought under control at 7:43 pm. An joint investigation between Portland Fire & Portland Police Investigators is currently underway in to the fire's cause and the fire death. Portland Fire & Rescue's arson canine - Lila - has also been brought to the scene to assist in the investigation. Portland's last fire death occurred on October 9, 2011, when a man succumbed to smoke inhalation trying to escape a house on fire that had no working smoke alarms.

More than 3 out of 5 home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. Having working smoke alarms in your home significantly increases your chances of surviving a fire. Portland Fire & Rescue urges citizens to make sure there are working smoke alarms inside every bedroom and on every level of their home, including basements.  

 Portland Fire & Rescue

 We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

 December 30, 2011

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