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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Phone: 503-823-3700

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55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204

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NEWS RELEASE 08/12/12: Afternoon Brush Fire Keeps Portland Firefighters Busy

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August 12, 2012

7:36 PM

Portland Firefighters responded to a brush fire at 3:11 this afternoon that started along railroad tracks next to the Heron Lakes Golf Course in North Portland. The initial crews that arrived called for additional resources after discovering that the fire was making some rapid gains to the south in dry grass and brush.

There was concern that the fire was going to extend into some exposure fuels that would have caused it to increase behavior and make significant runs. With the warm, dry, unstable air in the region this afternoon, there was also concern that gusty winds would cause the fire to dramatically increase in size.

Access into the area was limited and difficult prompting the incident commander to request all five Portland Fire & Rescue brush units to respond. Although these smaller fire engines carry much less water and fire hose than our more popular larger engines, their ability to get into areas and operate smaller hose lines is often the key to keeping these types of fires smaller in nature.

Crews were able to contain the blaze to an area about an acre in size within an hour of arrival. They were assisted by maintenance personnel from the golf course and a firefighting train from the Burlington Northern Railroad.  The fire is believed to be caused by a passing train. There were no injuries reported and no significant losses.

NEWS RELEASE 08/13/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Hazardous Material Incident

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August 13, 2012

11:39 AM

Fire crews were dispatched to a Haz-Mat incident this morning (8:33 am) at 6500 N. Marine Dr., Pasco Corporation of America. Initial reports were that 3 workers were complaining of feeling ill. This was of particular concern due to the fact that Pasco utilizes anhydrous ammonia, a colorless, highly irritating gas with a sharp, suffocating odor. Workers were evacuated as a precaution.

Portland Fire & Rescue Stations 26 (Portsmouth), 17 (Hayden Island), 8 (Kenton), 24 (Swan Island), and 22 (St. Johns) responded. Haz Mat Station 7 (Mill Park) brought in monitors to detect any harmful gases and found no evidence of a leak. Pasco detectors had a similar result prior to emergency response arrival.

Fire Lieutenant Alan Bronson says that " Our primary concern is getting people out of the hazardous environment as quickly as possible while we assess the placement of our resources".  He added, "Generally the severity of symptoms depends on the degree of exposure."

The three patients were transported to hospital via American Medical Response. There were no other patients. Haz-Mat teams are still on scene at this time.

Cooling Centers to Open in Multnomah County

With temperatures expected to reach 100 degrees later this week, four cooling centers will open in Multnomah County to help seniors and people with disabilities and other health conditions stay safe.

The four centers will be open Wednesday through Friday, Aug. 15-17. 

“Heat affects everyone,  but older adults and people with disabilities are particularly at risk,’’ said Paul Iarrobino, Multnomah County’s Aging and Disability Services program supervisor. “Our community has come together to help.”

The cooling centers are:

  • Loaves & Fishes Centers, Elm Court, 1032 S.W. Main, Portland. (503-953-8204)
  • Hollywood Senior Center, 1820 N.E. 40th Ave., Portland (503-288-8303)
  • Friendly House, 1737 N.W. 26th Ave., Portland, (503-224-2640)
  • YWCA Senior Services, Multnomah County East Building, 600 N.E. 8th St. Gresham, (503-988-3840).

For the complete schedule:

Neighbors can also help by checking in on elderly or disabled friends and relatives. Heat stroke or heat exhaustion are common conditions. Hot weather can also place a dangerous strain on those with heart and other health issues.

“People affected by the heat may not recognize they have a problem. Many senior and disabled folks live alone, may not get out much, and so it is critical that someone check on them,’’ Iarrobino said.

Tips to staying cool:

  • Never wait in a parked vehicle or leave a child, elder or pet waiting in a parked car.Temperatures inside parked vehicles can rise dangerously high -- even with the windows open.
  • Slow down. Reduce or reschedule strenuous activities until the heat of the day has passed.
  • Stay out of the sun. Sunburn interferes with the skin’s ability to cool.
  • Dress for the weather.Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids. People with health conditions such as epilepsy, heart or kidney disease should talk to a doctor before increasing their consumption.
  • Find the cool places. Visit a family member or neighbor with air conditioning, or go to the nearest public library, shopping mall or other cooled space.
  • Take a cool bath, shower or sponge bath. Cool water can help cool an overheated body.
  • Pay attention to older adults, people with disabilities or health conditions. Check on those who are at-risk at least twice a day.
  • Bookmark the Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services website for the most current listings of air conditioned spaces.
  • Call for more information. The Multnomah County Aging and Disability Services Helpline has resources for older adults and people with disabilities, including a list of senior centers, transportation services and 24-hour crisis intervention. Call 503-988-3646 or TTY at 503-988-3683– National Weather Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Multnomah County.

National Night Out Recap

Portland firefighters were out in force on August 7th at the annual National Night Out (NNO) Against Crime celebrations and block parties all over Portland. In an effort to build community and prevent crime, the neighborhood block parties featured food, music, crime-prevention information, police and fire demonstrations, fingerprinting, and more.  This year, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) wanted to educate the community about window fall safety for young children. 

Firefighters talked about fall safety with families attending NNO events, answered questions, and handed out “Stop at 4” window clings and an informational flyer.  Nearly a dozen children have fallen out of windows this summer - most under age five and from a second story window.  In addition to window fall safety education, firefighters gave tours of the fire engines, talked with children about fire safety, and handed out junior firefighter helmets and stickers.

PF&R’s fire stations attended 62 NNO events on August 7th and made over 5,744 contacts to neighborhood and community members throughout the City of Portland.  Station 28 (RoseCity) attended a total of 7 events and had the opportunity to educate 610 citizens in the neighborhood that they serve.  Station 26 (University of Portland) attended 6 events and made 750 neighborhood contacts.  This is a great example of the prevention effort that PF&R exercises on a daily basis.  PF&R knows that the best way to fight fire and prevent window fall injuries is to educate the public, so that is exactly what they did for NNO.      

By celebrating National Night Out Against Crime,Portland citizens joined more than 36 million people from all over the country. National Night Out Against Crime is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs,  strengthen neighborhood spirit and community partnerships, and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

If you would like any more information on window fall safety and the “Stop at 4” campaign please go to Hands on practice and one-on-one education are available at The Safety Store at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.  The Safety Store is located at: Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Atrium 501 North Graham Street, Portland,OR 97227, or call (503) 413-4600.   

NEWS RELEASE 08/15/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Responds to Two Early Morning Fires

August 15, 2012

9:47 AM

Fire crews were dispatched to a fire (4636 NE 95Th ave) at 1:07 am with reports of flames coming from a detached garage. Station 12(Sumner) arrived 3 minutes later to the garage being "fully engulfed". Station 2(Park rose), Engine 28 (Rose City), and Engine 19 (Mt Tabor) arrived moments later to account for the occupants, supply water, and help with fire suppression. No one was injured during the incident and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Incident Commander estimated the damages at $10,000.

At 4:25 am Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to another fire at 2956 NE 57Th ave. Callers said that "the front porch was on fire and everyone was evacuating". Station 28 arrived and quickly put the fire out, while Engine 12 and Station 2 checked to make sure that the fire didn't get into the walls of the house. No one was injured and the cause is still under investigation.