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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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Honoring Portland Firefighters LOST IN THE LINE OF DUTY: Harry U. Gardner

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Lost in the Line of Duty


January 19, 1935

Harry U. Gardner


Harry U. Gardner was hired by Portland Fire & Rescue on October 8, 1914.  He was assigned as an assistant engineer on Engine 7, then located at 302 SE 3rd Avenue.  The following year, he transferred to Engine 32 in St. Johns (the Basement of then St. John’s City Hall) and inexplicably resigned in December 1920.  Gardner was rehired on July 25, 1923 and assigned to Engine 6 (2200 NW Nicolai) and finally Engine 28 in 1928.  Gardner was overcome by smoke while advancing a hose line at a house fire at 2305 NE 51st Avenue on January 19, 1935.  The fire, which was caused by an overheated stove, causes $850 in damage.  Gardner was 63 years old at the time of his death.

Portland Fire & Rescue honors and remembers 

Firefighter Gardner's service.


   Portland Fire & Rescue 

   We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

   January 19, 2011


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Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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On Monday, January 17th, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) proudly sponsored a table at the 25th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast to honor Dr. King's legacy.  The breakfast was hosted at the Oregon Convention Center by the Skanner Foundation, which is committed to the growth and development of America’s youth.  The foundation provides scholarships to deserving college students on an equal opportunity basis.  This year's Skanner Foundation scholarship recipients were announced at the breakfast. 

In addition to the scholarship presentations, an address was given by Ellyn Angelotti of the Poynter Institute, a journalism organization based in St. Petersburg, Florida. She spoke about trends in journalism that affect King’s legacy.

Organized and attended by Operations Division Chief John Nohr, the following members also represented PF&R at the event:  Fire Chief John Klum, Training & Safety Division Chief Scott Fisher, Division Chief Mark Schmidt, Senior Business Operations Manager Jack Graham, Fire Marshal Erin Janssens, HR Coordinator Jim Fairchild, Deputy Chief John Harding, and Battalion Chief Bob Zavodsky.

The cornerstone of Dr. King's work was to achieve equal opportunity for all.  At PF&R, we support that vision.  Toward that end, PF&R's leadership has worked diligently over the past several years to expand our recruitment outreach efforts and develop job opportunities with the goal of making a career with PF&R attainable for all.  From visiting coffee shops in underrepresented areas for chats about firefighting careers, to providing summer employment opportunities for disadvantaged youth, to the recent appointment of Portland's first female Fire Marshal, to conducting a cultural assessment of its employees, great things are happening here at PF&R.


  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 19, 2011 


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NEWS RELEASE 01/19/11: Portland Fire & Rescue Responded To an Apartment Fire On SE 151st Ave

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UPDATE 7:03 pm

After a thorough investigation, Portland Fire Investigators have determined that the fire was caused by a cigarette that had fallen into the couch. Compounding the potential danger of careless smoking was the smoke detector which was found to have no batteries installed.

Portland Fire & Rescue recommends using extreme caution when smoking inside, and always check your smoke detectors monthly.

$580,000 Value of the structure
$50,000 Damage to Property
$8,000 Damage to Contents


January 19, 2011

6:44 pm 

Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to the report of an apartment fire at 414 SE 151 Ave. Initial reports of heavy black smoke and flames came from a caller who was driving by and stopped to call 9-1-1. Additional information from a second caller was that there may be an elderly woman inside the unit that was on fire.



The first arriving crews reported smoke coming from the front room of a single story L-shaped fourplex, and began a quick and aggressive fire attack so that a critical search for the potential victim could take place. A later arriving fire engine laid hose across Stark St from the hydrant to the fire, closing Stark to through traffic during firefighting operations. After extinguishing a couch that was on fire in the front room, interior fire crews did several searches of the dwelling, finding no occupant inside.



Fire crews did however, find a cat in the back bedroom of the apartment. The cat was overcome by smoke and unconscious, and was brought outside to be tended to by a fire crew that was standing by. All PF&R Chief Officer's vehicles are equipped with donated "Pet Resuscitation Kits" such as the one being demonstrated here and such a kit was used to revive the cat. The cat is currently being transported to a veterinary hospital in stable condition.

PF&R would like to remind you that stopping to call 9-1-1, remaining nearby in a safe location to answer dispatchers questions and relaying important information to dispatchers such as potential victims inside are actions that can help firefighters in determining the appropriate tactics to use. In the case of a potential victim, an ambulance, which is normally not assigned to a structure fire was dispatched. Fortunately, this time nobody was in the dwelling at the time of the fire.

The cause and extent of the fire is still under investigation.



  • Dispatched: 16:40
  • Arrived: 16:44
  • Knockdown: 16:47
  • Recall: 16:58


  • 4 Engines
  • 2 Ladder Trucks
  • 1 Rescue Unit
  • 2 Chief Officers
  • 1 AMR Paramedic Ambulance
  • 30 Total Personnel

Photos by Dick Harris, Portland Fire & Rescue.



  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 19, 2011 


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Fire Personnel Honored During Portland Police Bureau Awards Ceremony

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Battalion Chief Don Russ, Lieutenant Matthew Silva, Lieutenant Damon Simmons

On Thursday, January 20, 2011 at David Douglas High School Performing Arts Center, the Portland Police Bureau honored citizens, officers, and fire personnel for their community service efforts and life-savings actions.

Among those honored during ceremony was Portland Fire & Rescue Lieutenant Damon Simmons. Lieutenant Simmons and civilians Peter Siracusa and Tom Fletcher were honored and awarded with Civilian Medals of Heroism in recognition of their courage and selfless actions while putting themselves in harms way to assist in capturing a violent suspect.

On April 30, 2010, Lieutenant Simmons was walking along NE Broadway while on-duty at nearby Station 13 and witnessed a man being hit from behind and his computer bag taken. The victim was knocked unconscious. Lieutenant Simmons called out to the suspect in an attempt to prevent additional injury when the suspect turned and tried to hit Lieutenant Simmons. Mr. Peter Siracusa was riding by on his bike, Mr. Tom Fletcher in his car, and both stopped to assist. The three men were able to take the suspect to the ground and held him until police arrived.

Fire Lieutenant Matthew Silva and Battalion Chief Don Russ were also awarded a Letter of Commendation from the Portland Police Bureau for their participation and support of operations during Rose Festival 2010.

Portland Fire & Rescue is proud of Lieutenants Damon Simmons, Matthew Silva, and Battalion Chief Don Russ’s professionalism, willingness to get involved, and commitment to keeping the community safe.

To read all award narratives presented by the Portland Police Bureau, click here



  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 21, 2011 


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NEWS RELEASE 1/21/2011: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Second House Fire Caused by Smoking Materials

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January 21, 2011

9:02 am 

For the second time in two days, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a house fire caused by improperly discarded cigarettes.

At 4:20 pm on January 20, 2011, PF&R was dispatched to the report of a house on fire at 3604 US Grant Place.  A neighbor called 9-1-1, stating that she saw flames and dark black smoke coming from a room at the back of the house.  Though the neighbor saw no car in the driveway and had pounded on the door in case anyone was inside, first-arriving crews searched the house for occupants while others started fighting the fire. So much smoke had built up in the house that ventilation – by knocking out windows - was immediately necessary so that firefighters could see.  

The fire was extinguished six minutes after firefighters arrived.  Firefighters began searching for "extensions", looking behind walls, ceilings, and floors for places where fire could have spread, unseen.  

Four engines and a ladder truck were dispatched to the scene, in addition to the investigators.


Left - Astray found at source of fire

The investigators found a clear source of the fire: smoking materials that had been discarded too close to combustibles.

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds community members that smoking is the leading cause of preventable home fire deaths.  If you do smoke inside of your home, please make sure you put out all cigarettes, cigars, or pipes before leaving the room.

Photos by Portland Fire & Rescue.



  Portland Fire & Rescue 

  We Respond: Always Ready, Always There

  January 21, 2011 


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