July 16, 2011
Last night Portland firefighters responded to two cooking-related fires on opposite sides of the city. The first fire occurred at 1:40 am at a residence located at 12535 SE Ellis Street. Firefighters from SE Portland's Station 29 were onscene within two minutes of being dispatched. When firefighters arrived, they encountered heavy smoke coming out of the front door and windows of the home. Gaining entry was a challenge for firefighters and their firefighting equipment due to the fact that there was a large amount of contents inside the home that impeded the use of pathways. The fire started on a stove and then traveled up the kitchen wall and into the upper story and attic of the home.
Portland firefighter Matthew Smith, age 32 who has been with Portland Fire & Rescue for four years, injured his shoulder pulling fire hose to fight the fire. A second individual was also injured. A female, age 37, tried to put out the fire and suffered second degree burns. She was transported to Portland Adventist Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. The fire caused $20,000 damage to the home. Firefighters brought the fire under control at 2:10 am.
The second fire broke out at 2:10 am at the Cambridge Apartments located at 1963 W Burnside. An occupant in one of the units told firefighters she didn't remember turning on the stove where reports indicate a wok filled with oil ignited and started a fire in the kitchen. The fire caused sprinklers to activate, which resulted in water damage to the apartment unit and the Matador Restaurant/Bar below. Damage is estimated to be approximately $10,000. The occupant, a female in her 20's, was treated onscene by Portland Fire paramedics and did not necessitate transport to a hospital. The fire was recalled 2:39 am and a fire investigator was called to the scene.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens to never leave cooking unattended. "Cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the U.S., " said Public Information Officer Paul Corah. "If you have a fire in your home, get out, call 9-1-1, and don't try to put the fire out yourself because you could be seriously hurt."