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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 04/13/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to House Fire at 8533 NE Russell St.

April 13, 2012

4:01 PM

At 12:38 pm, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a report of a house on fire at 8533 NE Russell St. When Portland Fire Station 12 (Sandy Blvd.) arrived, the crew found smoke and flames coming from the kitchen. The occupant remarked that it seemed like a fire engine arrived so quickly it only took a minute --- actually it was two.

An individual who was home at the time of the fire indicated that he was getting ready to cook French fries in a pan of oil. He turned the pan on high to heat the oil and left the room for a short time. When he returned to the kitchen, the pan was on fire. He stated that he immediately removed the pan from the stove, set the pan in the sink, and turned water on the grease fire.

"What many citizens don't know is that you should never put water on a grease fire," said Portland Fire Public Information Officer Paul Corah. "It's best to always keep a lid nearby when you are cooking with grease and never leave cooking unattended."

Firefighters at the scene indicated that the fire spread quickly up the cabinets and into the walls of the kitchen. Crews quickly knocked down the fire and began ventilating smoke from the home.

What should you do if a grease fire happens when you are cooking at home? Smother the flames by carefully sliding the lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Do not move the pan. The best advice is "when in doubt, just get out". Call 9-1-1 if you feel a cooking fire is out of control and leave firefighting to the professionals.

Damage to the home is estimated at $35,000 and the fire was ruled accidental by Portland Fire investigators.

NEWS RELEASE 04/14/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Battles a House Fire (1136 SE Bidwell St.)

April 14, 2012

2:27 PM

This morning at 9:58 am, Portland firefighters were called to a reported residential fire in SE Portland. Initial reports indicated that the homes residents were still inside. On arrival firefighters from Portland's Sellwood-Moreland Fire Station 20 found smoke coming from the upper floor of a 1.5 story home (the half story indicates a finished attic). Two of the homes residents ( a husband and wife) were safely outside on the front lawn, however they were unsure of the location of their adult son.

Firefighters immediately entered the home and began searching for the son. Meanwhile, other firefighters began aggressively attacking the fire. Fire was found traveling in the walls between the basement and the attic. This fire was difficult to extinguish as fire was burning vigorously in the concealed spaces that are commonly found in homes with finished attics. At one point fire burned through the homes roof and incident commanders ordered firefighters out of the structure due to deteriorating conditions inside. The fire was fought from the exterior until conditions allowed firefighters to return to the interior.

After an extensive search, the son was not located in the structure and it is assumed that he was away during the fire. The son doesn't have a cell phone so his current location is unknown. The husband and wife were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for the evaluation and treatment of smoke inhalation. They are expected to be treated and released.

Fire commanders called for additional resources (including three Ladder Trucks) to help control this fire. The fire was declared under control at 11:15 am with firefighters remaining on scene to ensure that all burning material is removed or extinguished. Firefighters will continue to periodically monitor the house throughout the day to ensure that no smoldering fire remains. Nearby homes weren't damaged by this fire.

The house is uninhabitable and the occupants are deciding whether to stay with relatives or utilize the assistance of the American Red Cross. Portland Fire Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire and damage estimates. This information will be made available as soon as possible. As this fire was very close to Clackamas County, Portland Fire & Rescue was assisted by Clackamas Fire District #1.

Residents are reminded to move to safety and immediately call 9-1-1 in the event of a fire. While curiosity is natural it's important to use extreme caution around fire scene's. Please leave a clear area for firefighters to work for your safety and ours. Staying well clear will also allow firefighters to extinguish fires and rescue victims in the most efficient manner possible.

NEWS RELEASE 04/15/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Quickly Extinguishes a House Fire (5040 NE 7th)

April 15, 2012

5:46 PM

This afternoon at approximately 4:30 pm, Portland firefighters were called to a house fire in NE Portland. Firefighters from Portland's Alberta Park Fire Station 14 arrived within three minutes and found fire in one room of the single story house. The fire was also extending into the attic. The homes occupants, a family of four adults, were safely out of the house.

Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire and it was declared under control within 16 minutes of the firefighters arrival. No one was injured by this fire; however, the home will be uninhabitable until it can be cleaned and repaired. The American Red Cross has been called to assist the occupants with housing.

A Portland Fire & Rescue fire investigator is working to determine the cause of this fire and an estimate of the damage. This information will be made available as soon as possible. The quick arrival and decisive action of firefighters kept this fire's damage to a minimum.

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds residents to:

  1. Have working Smoke detectors on every floor and in every sleeping area.
  2. Prepare and practice a fire escape plan (including a safe meeting place).
  3. If you have a fire get to safety and call 911 immediately, because seconds count. (A fire can double in size every 30 seconds).

PF&R Incident Statistics: April 8 - 14, 2012

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Incident Statistics: 

Total Incidents: 1,336

Medical: 1,107

Fire: 51

Other: 178

Major Incidents: 4 (further information provided below) 

  • 04/09/12@ 2300 hrs, Residential Fire, 9200 block of N Adriatic Av. Loss: $75,000 Cause: Undetermined at this time
  • 04/10/12@ 1115 hrs, Commercial Fire. 15600 block of N Lombard St. Loss: $14,000 Cause: Mechanical failure of conveyor bearings ignited combustibles in silo
  • 04/13/12@ 1237 hrs, Residential Fire, 8500 block of NE Russell St. Loss: $35,000 Cause: Overheated cooking oil
  • 04/14/12@ 0959 hrs, Residential Fire, 1100 block of SE Bidwell St. Loss: $179,000 Cause: Under investigation

Plan Safe & Productive Summer Activities Now!

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April 16, 2012 -- For the 16th year in a row, the Portland Police Bureau and Portland Parks and Recreation have partnered to sponsor Operation Safe Summer.

Operation Safe Summer provides youth with opportunities to discover new hobbies and sports that may encourage them stay engaged with their schools during the summer months.

Click here or visit to access the 2012 Operation Safe Summer activity guide, a great place to start your plans for the summer season. The guide offers a wide assortment of recreational and educational programs that provide youth the opportunity to learn teamwork, sportsmanship, leadership, and to just have some old-fashioned fun!

Included in the activity guide is information on the upcoming Fire Camp 2012 being offered by Portland Fire & Rescue. Fire Camp 2012 is a three-day fire training camp specifically for young women ages 16 to 19 who are interested in learning about firefighting through hands-on training. Fire Camp 2012 will be taught and supervised by women firefighters from the Portlandmetro area. Check out page 25 to learn more about Fire Camp 2012 or visit