NEWS RELEASE 04/14/12: Portland Fire & Rescue Battles a House Fire (1136 SE Bidwell St.)
April 14, 2012
This morning at 9:58 am, Portland firefighters were called to a reported residential fire in SE Portland. Initial reports indicated that the homes residents were still inside. On arrival firefighters from Portland's Sellwood-Moreland Fire Station 20 found smoke coming from the upper floor of a 1.5 story home (the half story indicates a finished attic). Two of the homes residents ( a husband and wife) were safely outside on the front lawn, however they were unsure of the location of their adult son.
Firefighters immediately entered the home and began searching for the son. Meanwhile, other firefighters began aggressively attacking the fire. Fire was found traveling in the walls between the basement and the attic. This fire was difficult to extinguish as fire was burning vigorously in the concealed spaces that are commonly found in homes with finished attics. At one point fire burned through the homes roof and incident commanders ordered firefighters out of the structure due to deteriorating conditions inside. The fire was fought from the exterior until conditions allowed firefighters to return to the interior.
After an extensive search, the son was not located in the structure and it is assumed that he was away during the fire. The son doesn't have a cell phone so his current location is unknown. The husband and wife were transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for the evaluation and treatment of smoke inhalation. They are expected to be treated and released.
Fire commanders called for additional resources (including three Ladder Trucks) to help control this fire. The fire was declared under control at 11:15 am with firefighters remaining on scene to ensure that all burning material is removed or extinguished. Firefighters will continue to periodically monitor the house throughout the day to ensure that no smoldering fire remains. Nearby homes weren't damaged by this fire.
The house is uninhabitable and the occupants are deciding whether to stay with relatives or utilize the assistance of the American Red Cross. Portland Fire Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire and damage estimates. This information will be made available as soon as possible. As this fire was very close to Clackamas County, Portland Fire & Rescue was assisted by Clackamas Fire District #1.
Residents are reminded to move to safety and immediately call 9-1-1 in the event of a fire. While curiosity is natural it's important to use extreme caution around fire scene's. Please leave a clear area for firefighters to work for your safety and ours. Staying well clear will also allow firefighters to extinguish fires and rescue victims in the most efficient manner possible.