55 SW Ash Street, Portland, OR 97204
August 4, 2012
This evening at 7:00pm Portland Firefighters were called to a house on fire at 5637 SE Knight St. When they arrived firefighters from Portland's Station 25 (Woodstock) found heavy fire on the houses back side. Neighbors (who'd called 911) were unsure if the occupants were safely out of the house or not.
Firefighters immediately began searching the house for occupants and extinguishing the fire. The search revealed that the homes residents weren't at home at the time of the fire. The flames were quickly extinguished and the fire damage was contained to the rear portion of the house. The house did however suffer significant smoke damage throughout.
This fire was complicated by the days high temperatures. Heat exhaustion is a very real danger and fire commanders are forced to call for additional resources to avoid overtaxing firefighters. A firefighter in full gear can weigh an additional 90 lbs and the fire resistant clothing traps body heat.
Fire investigators stated that this fire was caused by smokers carelessness. Damage to the single story home is estimated at $50,000. The homes residents (who are renters) will be unable to stay in the house. It is not known at this time if they will need the assistance of the Red Cross for shelter.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds residents to dispose of burning materials in a safe manner, using a bucket of water or a metal container stored away from combustibles.