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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 02/27/12: Fully Involved North Portland House Fire Injuries Homeowner and Dog


February 27, 2012

9:26 AM





February 27, 2012

8:41 AM

After and extensive investigation Portland Fire Investigators have classified the cause of the fire to be undetermined. Several conditions in the home were present but identifying the root cause was hampered by the extent of the fire damage. Many extension cords ran through the home, and were covered by excessive amounts of contents. Often times called "hoarding", this is the third residential fire in two weeks that involved similar interior conditions. The second of these fires, on 2/18/2012 in North Portland, resulted in a fatality. This is a serious condition that can be unsafe for both occupants and firefighters. Piles of debris create an unnaturally large fuel load, giving a fire large quantities of material to burn. The piles, which can become unstable when burning or wet from fire hoses, can reduce or block emergency egress.

The homeowner did say in a statement to fire investigators that working smoke detectors woke him up and alerted him to the presence of the fire. He initially attempted to extinguish the fire himself, delaying calling 9-1-1. Fires can more than double in size every two minutes, so calling 9-1-1 quickly is essential to get resources started.

Value of Structure: $150,000.

Damage to Structure: $100,000.

Damage to Contents: $20,000.

Cleo, the German Shepard is listed in stable condition at Dove Lewis Animal Hospital.

For more info contact: Jenna Cooper at




February 27, 2012

2:58 AM

At 1:13 a.m. Portland Fire crews were dispatched to reports of a house on fire at the 7100 block of N. Macrum Ave. The caller's description of "windows breaking" and 6' flames coming from the roof of the house were a good indication to responding crews that there was a working fire.

Police that were on scene reported that the homeowner, who had been upset that his dog was still in the residence may have gone back into the house to rescue his dog, adding a potential rescue component to the incident.

Approximately four minutes after being dispatched, Engine 26 (Portsmouth/University Park) arrived and reported heavy fire coming from the house. They made a quick and aggressive interior attack, knocking down the main body of fire within five minutes of arriving. Truck 22 (St. Johns) was assigned vertically ventilate through the roof to improve conditions for firefighters working inside the structure. An initial search revealed no other occupants in the home. The fire was recalled 27 minutes after PF&R's arrival.

The homeowner was found outside the home with burns to his hands and arms and was transported by ambulance to the Oregon Burn Center. The dog, a German Shepherd-mix named Cleo, was treated by firefighters with a pet-oxygen mask and was taken to a pet hospital by a neighbor.

Portland Fire & Rescue reminds citizens that entering a building on fire without proper equipment and training can have tragic consequences. Modern building materials contain large amounts of synthetic products which, when burned, can overcome an individual more quickly.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.