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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 03/21/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Natural Gas Leak at NE 26th & NE Alameda

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March 21, 2012
1:26 PM

At 12:04 pm, Portland firefighters were dispatched to a natural gas incident in NE Portland at NE 26th & NE Alameda. Reports were that a gas line was severed by a construction crew and that there was whistling and roaring coming from the leak.

Portland Fire Station 14 (Alberta Park) arrived and confirmed that a one-inch gas line was struck by excavation equipment. Fire crews immediately set out to protect exposures and evacuated nearby homes as a precautionary measure. Three engines and one truck responded. NW Natural Gas personnel were called and are on-scene now and are working to stop the leak.

Citizens in the area should maintain a distance outside of any hazard tape.

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens that if you suspect a natural gas leak or other gas emergency and are unsure of the severity or what to do, evacuate the area immediately and call 9-1-1 from a safe location. Do not use any types of portable communication and electronic devices that have a battery in the area. These can spark and create a source of ignition.

NEWS RELEASE 03/21/12: Portland Firefighters Free Woman from Branches After 150' Tree Falls Across SW Jefferson Street

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March 21, 2012

9:44 PM

At 4:15pm ladder truck firefighters from Portland Fire Station 4 (Portland State) responded to reports of a person trapped under a big tree that had just fallen at the corner of SW Park and SW Jefferson in downtown Portland. When Truck 4 arrived, firefighters discovered that a one hundred-year-old, 150 foot tall tree had fallen across SW Jefferson St. Bystanders near the tree pointed firefighters to an area where a person was yelling for help. Fearing the worst, firefighters quickly retrieved chainsaws to cut out the individual who they presumed was trapped underneath the 30 ton tree.

To firefighters' surprise, they found a 51-year-old female sitting in the middle of the downed tree's branches on the sidewalk. Firefighters parted the branches and gently helped the woman to safety. She was assessed by a Portland firefighter/paramedic and transported by ambulance to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

"She is one lucky woman," Portland firefighters at the scene relayed. "One minute she was walking down Jefferson Street and the next this huge tree fell on her."

The large tree also knocked out stained glass windows in a nearby church. Portland Parks & Recreation was called to remove the tree. According to Portland Parks, most of the trees in the area were planted in 1908. There was no report of wind at the time the tree fell and the Parks Bureau is looking into what may have caused the tree to fall. It took crews several hours to cut up the tree and clear the street for traffic.

NEWS RELEASE 03/22/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Explosion in NW Portland Chemical Reactor

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March 22, 2012

11:29 PM

At 9:25 pm, Portland Fire crews responded to reports of an explosion involving a chemical reactor at Wacker Siltronics in Northwest Portland. Wacker Siltronics, located at 7200 N.W. Front Avenue, produces semiconductor wafers.

Two employees were working near the chemical reactor at the time of the explosion performing maintenance. The chemical reactor, which combines chemicals for the manufacturing process, is housed inside the large plant. Reports indicate that the chemical trichlorosilane, a chemical compound containing silicon, hydrogen, and chlorine, was present on the dome of the reactor. Trichlorosilane is a source of ultra pure silicon and is widely used in the semiconductor industry. The chemical explosion occurred when oxygen entered the atmosphere and interacted with the chemical.

A 56-year-old male and a 58-year-old male both suffered from respiratory ailments following the explosion and were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. At this time, two plant technicians and two Portland Fire HazMat technicians are preparing to enter the chemical vessel to evaluate the vessel's condition. The explosion was isolated to one portion of the plant; only the immediate area around the reactor where the explosion occurred was evacuated.

In total, 44 Portland Fire personnel including the HazMat Team, a Portland Fire investigator, and four chief officers responded to this incident.

Portland Firefighters Collect School Supplies for Preschool Destroyed by Fire

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Station 5 Firefighters Nate, Laurie, and James

March 23, 2012 -- On Monday, March 19th, firefighters from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue battled a 3-alarm fire at Living Savior Lutheran Church in Tualatin, Oregon.  The church, sanctuary, and preschool suffered major damage.  That evening, Tualatin Police arrested two 13-year old boys and charged them with Burglary II and Arson 1. 

Firefighters from Portland Fire & Rescue’s Station 10 (Burlingame) provided mutual aid during the fire.  Firefighter Laurie, originally from PF&R Station 5 (Hillsdale), was working a shift at Station 10 and responded alongside her crew to the fire.

After seeing the devastation of the church’s preschool, Firefighter Laurie and her fellow firefighters from Station 5 decided to collect and accept school supply donations to be given to Living Savior Preschool. 

Items such as office and craft supplies, paper towels, Kleenex, Ziploc bags, Band-Aids, cleaning wipes, napkins, M&D puzzles, kitchen toys and books will all be accepted from members of the public at Station 5 to later be given to the school.  Even gift cards to school supply stores or craft warehouses would be very useful.  Station 5 is located at 1505 SW DeWitt Street, Portland, Oregon 97239.

On Friday, March 23, 2012, donations will be accepted at the Rolling Hills Community Church located at 3550 SW Borland Road, Tualatin, Oregon 97062 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. 

Thank you to Firefighter Laurie, Station 5, and the Rolling Hills Community Church for reminding everyone how much we can accomplish when we come together as one community. 

NEWS RELEASE 03/23/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Unveils New Fire Truck

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March 23, 2012

9:18 AM

Portland Fire & Rescue’s (PF&R) newest fire truck was placed in-service yesterday at Station 2 (Parkrose) in NE Portland.

For the next couple weeks, firefighters assigned to the new Truck 2 will be getting used to operating, driving, and maintaining the 2011 Pierce Arrow XT 105’ rear mount aerial apparatus. Firefighters will also be studying the 70,800 pound truck’s gauges, buttons, motor, and brakes and practicing deploying the four H-style outriggers which stabilize the truck and allow the 105-foot ladder to extend.

The truck was purchased with a $720,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. PF&R was required to contribute 20 precent in matching funds which were provided by PF&R’s vehicle replacement budget.

"This truck was specifically built for Portland from the ground up," said Training, Safety & EMS Division Chief Glen Eisner. "We involved firefighters directly in the design process and traveled several times to Appleton, Wisconsin to assist in drawing up the plans, inspecting the truck, and helping to decide on last minute modifications.”

The new Truck 2 boosts seven ground ladders, is powered by a 515 horse power Detroit Diesel Series 60 diesel engine, has a six-speed automatic transmission, an independent front suspension system, and a 360 degree rear and side mounted camera system.

On average, Truck 2 responds to over 1,000 emergency incidents each year and will call PF&R’s Training Center Campus in Parkrose home. In addition to Truck 2, Station 2 also houses an engine, rescue, and air unit.  Station 2’s emergency response area is bordered on the north by the Columbia River, Portland International Airport on the west, City of Gresham to the east, and I-84 to the south. 

Photographs by Bob Perier, Portland Fire & Rescue.