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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 11/27/09: 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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What:

"Scouting for Food" - Annual Boy Scouts Food Drive

Who:

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

Where:

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

When:

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

WE CAN'T DO THIS ALONE…

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.  

LOOK FOR SCOUTS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD...

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. 

ALL PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE STATIONS ARE DROP-OFF POINTS…

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.  

 

THE NEED IS GREATER THAN EVER…

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

SafetyTIPS: Keeping Your Water Pipes from Freezing

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Keeping Your Water Pipes from Freezing

An average of a quarter-million families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter, all because of water pipes that freeze and burst. By taking a few simple precautions, you can save yourself the problems that frozen pipes cause:

Before the Cold

  • Insulate pipes in your home's crawl spaces and attic. These exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing. Remember - the more insulation you use, the better protected your pipes will be.
  • Heat tape or thermostatically-controlled heat cables can be used to wrap pipes. Be sure to use products approved by an independent testing organization, such as Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and only for the use intended (exterior or interior). Closely follow all manufacturers' installation and operation instructions.
  • Seal leaks that allow cold air inside near where pipes are located. Look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes. Use caulk or insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in. With severe cold, even a tiny opening can let in enough cold air to cause a pipe to freeze.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and, if practical, use an indoor valve to shut off and drain water from pipes leading to outside faucets. This reduces the chance of freezing in the short span of pipe just inside the house.

When Temperatures Drop

  • A trickle of hot and cold water might be all it takes to keep your pipes from freezing. Let the water (hot & cold) drip overnight, preferably from a faucet on an outside wall.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to un-insulated pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.

Before you go away

  • Set the thermostat in your house no lower than 55°F (12°C).
  • Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it's warm enough to prevent freezing or
  • Shutting off and draining the water system may be an option. Be aware that if you have a fire protection sprinkler system in your house, it will be deactivated when you shut off the water.
  • Don't take chances. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber. If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shut-off valve is and how to open and close it.
  • Portland Fire & Rescue reminds you to NEVER attempt to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe. Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water because you could be electrocuted.

If Your Pipes Freeze

  • Don't take chances. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber. If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shut-off valve is and how to open and close it.
  • Portland Fire & Rescue reminds you to NEVER attempt to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hair dryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe. Do not use electrical appliances in areas of standing water because you could be electrocuted.

It’s not about saving lives;

it’s about saving your life.

 

 

November 30, 2009

Fire Fighter Safety Blog: A Welcome Message from Safety Chief Jeff Bancroft

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Welcome to the first Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Fire Fighter Safety Blog.  My name is Jeff Bancroft, and I am the Safety Chief for PF&R.  I am responsible for helping to fostering a safe and accident-free bureau and for keeping PF&R compliant with all appropriate workplace and fire/safety regulations.

The Fire Fighter Safety Blog will be my soapbox I can stand on to talk about how PF&R keeps fire fighters safe, the latest issues and projects I am dealing with, and the activities of the Safety Committee, the Metro Safety Officers Committee, Risk Management, Training, and all of the other organizations I work with day-in and day-out. 

I have just returned after a week in sunny LA (go ahead and be jealous, all I did was work. Honest!).  The bi-annual IAFF-sponsored Redmond Symposium is the largest Fire Fighter safety health and wellness convention in the world.  About 1,000 fire fighters from all across the US and Canada converge every other year to discuss fire fighter safety issues, learn about new advances in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for fire fighters and protocols, and network with members of other fire departments. 

It was without a doubt the most valuable, and inspirational conference I have ever attended.  The passion for fire fighter safety is a real mission....sounds corny, but it is a higher calling.  The passion for fire fighter safety is also highly contagious.  I have taken pages and pages of notes over the past week.  I have heard many new ideas that I will incorporate into the fire fighter training I am responsible for.  I have numerous inspirations for future Safety Bulletins, and a lot of material to write about.  Some of it is controversial, and some of it is common sense.

I intend to use my blog as a method of airing ideas, sticking my toe in the water on issues that interest me, and sometimes propose changes I would like to see.  I wish this to be an interactive process.  For the internal PF&R employees, you all know how to get hold of me.  For everyone else, feel free to email me with questions or suggestions at any time.  I’m at jbancroft@fire.ci.portland.or.us.

So look for my blog that will be posted every two weeks – I welcome your feedback and I promise to always listen.

Until next time – BE SAFE!