At 2:48 a.m on March 20th, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) responded to an apartment fire at the Waverly Surf Apartments on SE Linn Street. The first arriving engine reported heavy fire in the exterior stairway of the two-story apartments, with possibly four units involved. Firefighters quickly knocked down of the fire in the stairway, but the fire had extended to the attic area above. A second alarm was called at 2:58. The fire was quickly brought under control and the second-alarm companies were recalled at 3:56 a.m. A total of 60 firefighters were on scene. PF&R sent seven engines, four trucks, a heavy rescue squad, three chiefs, a fire investigator, a rehab unit, and a Public Information Officer to the scene. Clackamas Fire Dist. #1 provided mutual aid with an engine and a chief. Crews remained on scene until 6:00a.m.; the fire investigator remained longer to finish interviews with occupants and the management company.
No one was injured as a result of the fire. All residents escaped prior to the arrival of fire companies. Red Cross is on-scene assisting displaced residents at this time.
Smoke detectors in the apartments were working, but due to the initial location of the fire in the exterior stairway, none were activated until after the residents had escaped. A female resident said her dog was barking and had come to her bed. She credits her dog with waking her and allowing her escaping the flames. She was able to exit down the stairway as the fire grew in intensity. Her dog at that point was hiding under the bed. The dog was rescued later by one of the fire crews. The residents in the lower unit exited out the back door of their apartment.
No building/content value and damage estimates at this time. The four units did receive some smoke and water damage. The resident that escaped down the stairway had closed her door as she exited. This stopped the fire from extending into her apartment and allowing her dog to be rescued. She did not try to return to get her dog. Remember once you are out - stay out! Do not re-enter a burning structure.
The fire cause in still under investigation.
PF&R recommends you have a Home escape plan (with at least two ways out), discuss it with your family, and practice it. Since this fire blocked the main exit way for the residents; some had to exit via their secondary exits.
March 20, 2010