55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204
March 12, 2012
A resident of the home located at 16223 NE Foster went into the basement and noticed the door handle into the bedroom was warm; the door was opened a small amount and "flames shot out" from the room. The resident then slammed the door closed and evacuated the structure.
Engine Company 29 (Powellhurst) arrived first on scene and reported "Nothing Showing," a radio term used to inform other responders that smoke or other indications of fire are not visible from the exterior of the structure. Determining that there were no victims trapped inside of the home, two firefighters from Engine 29 entered the structure with a hose line and worked there way into the basement--as a precaution, additonal crews performed primary and secondary searches of the structure to confirm reports that there were no victims left inside.
Basement fires are among the most dangerous and challenging that Portland Fire and Rescue can face; often heat and smoke exit the basement by rising through the same stairwell that firefighters are forced to descend to reach the seat of the fire. Additionally, fire burning below the first floor can weaken support structures used to keep the floor from collapsing. By closing the door to the involved room, most of the products of combustion were confined to a small area, dramatically improving the conditions faced by firefighters.
The quick thinking resident also aided in their own escape, as containment of smoke and fire to the room provided a relatively clear environment through which to exit.
Extinguishment of the fire was rapid once firefighters entered the involved room. Damage was confined primarily to the room of origin. Overhaul, the process of cleaning up after a fire, was minimal.
A fire investigator is currently on scene and no cause determination or damage estimates are available at this time. No injuries were reported as a result of this fire.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds all residents who encounter fire emergencies to get out and stay out.