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The City of Portland, Oregon

Fire & Rescue

Always Ready, Always There

Phone: 503-823-3700

Fax: 503-823-3710

55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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NEWS RELEASE 11/25/09: Fire Investigators Release Cause of Truck Fire on Swan Island

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Portland Fire & Rescue investigators released the cause of this morning's fire that destroyed four semi-trucks on Swan Island.  A mechanical/electrical malfunction caused the fire which completely destroyed four trucks and severely damaged four 50' trailers.  Damage is estimated at $1 million dollars.

Firefighters were called to N. Channel Avenue at about 3:15 am on Wednesday, November 25, 2009.  Firefighters arrived on-scene and reported heavy fire and smoke from a fenced and secured area. After cutting the chain on one of the gates, firefighters were able to extinguish the fire in a matter of minutes.

Concerns were raised about runoff from the fire flowing into the Willamette River.  A fireboat was dispatched to check the outflows in the area and found no evidence of contamination in the river.

November 25, 2009

Why is Richard standing under a 65,000 pound firetruck?

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On Tuesday, November 17, Truck 7 was in Portland Fire & Rescue’s apparatus bay to have its suspension airbags replaced by Richard, one of our highly skilled emergency vehicle technicians.  Truck 7 is one of nine trucks in service that have what is known as a Tillerman cab on the back of it, allowing firefighters to steer this 59’ long ladder truck in the front and the rear.  This particular truck is eight years old and its suspension airbags had developed cracks in them.  The airbags provide a cushion of air for the truck to ride on.  I’m pleased to report that thanks to Richard’s excellent work, Truck 7’s airbags are good as new and is back in service.



Stay tuned to the Fire Blog for upcoming blogs on how our on-site mechanics keep Portland’s firetrucks, engines, and other rescue equipment in business and ready to serve the community.

November 25, 2009

NEWS RELEASE 11/27/09: Fire Destroys Home in SW Portland

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Photo courtesy of Brent Wojahn, The Oregonian

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews were dispatched at 9:18 pm on November 26, 2009 to a reported residential fire on SW Capitol Hill Road in Portland, Oregon. 

The first-in engine company arrived on scene at 9:22 pm and found a two-story single family residence with heavy fire involvement located at the rear of the structure.  Crews made a quick entry into the structure and advanced hose lines in an attempt to knock the fire down, but shortly thereafter ordered out of the structure because of heavy fire conditions.  Crews quickly retreated and shortly thereafter the roof of the structure began to fail and collapse.  At that point crews were forced to conduct an aggressive defensive attack, but had much difficulty due to the amount of fire from the structure.  Numerous hose lines were required to gain control of the fire, including two master streams- one elevated and one ground level.  There was approximately 2,100 gallons of water a minute being applied to the fire for over two hours.  The structure was overloaded with combustible materials from years of collection.  Some rooms were inaccessible by crews while others were only accessible via pathways. 

Fortunately, the two elderly occupants were not home at the time of the fire; it would have been impossible for crews to conduct a rescue had the home been occupied. 

There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.  Crews have not been able to work inside of the structure to extinguish all remaining hot spots because of structural instabilities, but will continue to monitor the residence for the next couple of days.  PF&R apparatus and personnel response included six fire engines, two fire trucks, one rehab unit, three fire investigators, three fire chiefs, and 40 firefighters.

The structure was approximately 1870 square feet with a complete loss of the structure and contents.  Damage is estimated to be $300,000 to the structure and $150,000 to the contents. 

PF&R fire investigators have not yet determined a cause of fire

at this time but would appreciate anyone with any

helpful information to contact them at (503) 823-3791.  

November 27, 2009

NEWS RELEASE 11/27/09: Portland Fire & Rescue and Boys Scouts Food Drive Provides Food Through Out the Year for Those in Need!

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"Scouting for Food" - Annual Boy Scouts Food Drive


Boy Scouts of America (Cascade Pacific Council), Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and local agencies and businesses interested in helping Oregon's hungry


Drop-off at any Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) fire station


Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm


The Boy Scouts of America, Cascade Pacific Council, will be holding their annual food drive, "Scouting for Food" for area food banks on Saturday, December 5, 2009.  


Scouts will be canvassing neighborhoods with collection bags starting Saturday, November 28, 2009 and then return to pick up the bags with food on Saturday, December 5, 2009 between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm.  This annual collection provides local agencies with food to supply hungry people with food assistance throughout the entire year. 


Because the scouts cannot be everywhere, anyone can contribute to "Scouting for Food" by dropping off a bag of non-perishable food at any PF&R fire station on Saturday, December 5, 2009 before 4:00 pm. To find a list of fire station locations, click here.  



Last year, this event resulted in food for approximately 10,000 families.  Unfortunately, the need for help is even greater this year with continued high unemployment.  In Oregon, 1 in 5 of our neighbors is experiencing hunger and this food drive seeks to address that need. 

November 27, 2009

Are You Prepared?

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Last week, sampling detected a small amount of contamination in the Washington Park Reservoir 3 that serves west side customers of the Portland Water Bureau, and the Palatine Hills, Valley View, and Burlington water districts. The Portland Water Bureau issued a mandatory “Boil Water Notice” for customers on the west side of the Willamette River, advising customers to boil their water for one minute before drinking, food preparation, and other uses which would involve swallowing water.  The “Boil Water Notice” was lifted this weekend.

Even though the “Boil Water Notice” affected a small area, it’s important to ask yourself, “Is my family prepared for an incident like this?”

Portland Fire & Rescue strongly encourages you to be proactive and assemble a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit to meet the basic survival needs of your family.  This includes a THREE-DAY SUPPLY OF DRINKABLE AND CLEAN WATER. Click here for a list of suggested items to include in a 72-hour emergency supply kit for your home.

November 30, 2009