Portland fire investigators have determined that the cause of last night’s second alarm fire, which broke out at 10:50 pm at 1511 SE Morrison, was due to improperly discarded smoking materials. The structure and contents were valued at $850,000 with a loss of $200,000.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens that careless smoking or the improper disposal of smoking materials is the number one cause of fire fatalities in the United States according to the National Fire Protection Agency. If you’re a smoker, make sure butts or ashes are out before you throw them away. Dowsing smoking materials in water or sand is the best way to do that, along with disposing of them in a non-flammable container.
Above photos courtesy of Ray Bruno, citizen.
February 23, 2012
At 10:50 pm, Portland firefighters were dispatched to reports of fire in an apartment building located at 1511 SE Morrison St.
Firefighters from Portland Fire Station 21 (Eastbank/Hawthorne) arrived first on scene to find heavy fire coming from the back of one of the apartments. Due to a live power line that was down across the street on SE 15th between SE Morrison and SE Alder, firefighters were forced to pull their hose lines through adjacent side yards to reach the back of the building and begin attacking this fire.
The Incident Commander called for a second alarm response nine minutes later due to the fact that the fire was moving quickly up the backside of the apartment building and up into the attic.
The seven-unit apartment complex was comprised of two adjoining buildings. Several nearby homes and another apartment complex were all in close proximity to the building on fire and potentially in the fire’s path.
An aggressive and proactive fire attack enabled the 60 firefighters on scene to control the blaze and stop it from spreading to adjacent structures. A total of four ladder trucks, nine engines, and additional resources responded to the incident. The fire was brought under control at 11:39 pm.
Approximately 10 people were displaced due to the fire. The Red Cross is responding to help residents find shelter for the night.
Two fire investigators are currently working to determine the cause of the fire and damage estimates. They have confirmed that all units had working smoke alarms at the time of the fire, which likely contributed to the fact that all 10 residents safely evacuated tonight’s blaze.