Portland firefighters from Station 11 located in the Lents neighborhood responded to a fire involved in a home at 6725 SE 77th Avenue at 8:06 pm this evening. Upon arrival six minutes later, the officer on Engine 11 reported a smaller home with smoke and fire showing from the rear and sides of the house. Firefighters from Engine 11 and Rescue 11 immediately pulled handlines and mounted an interior attack while the crew from Truck 25 went to the roof to open up ventilation holes in order to clear some of the heat and smoke to assist the interior firefighters in locating the seat of the fire. Other crews from neighboring stations also assisted the effort by manning back up lines, searching the structure for fire victims, securing utilities, and staffing a Rapid Intervention Team whose primary mission is to rescue downed firefighters in the case of a catastrophic event.
While searching the home for potential fire victims, firefighters discovered a hole in the floor in one of the bedrooms that posed a dangerous situation for the interior crews. Due to the limited visibility and high temperatures within a building on fire, firefighters often work from a crawling position. All to often, hazards such as holes in floors are not discovered until a firefighter falls through one. Fortunately this one was discovered without that happening.
The fire was under control within 15 minutes of arrival, but damage to the home was extensive. The fire cause is unknown at this time, but a fire investigator is on scene examining clues to determine the cause. Portland Fire does not anticipate a cause or damage estimates release until at least mid-Monday morning.