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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 8/29/13: Portland Fire & Rescue Determines Cause of Government Island Fire

On August 19, a three-alarm fire on Government Island required 80 firefighters working over five hours to control. Because this investigation is still in process, PF&R can only confirm that a youth has been identified as the responsible individual and the source of the fire was illegal fireworks. Both the juvenile and the parents are cooperating in the investigation.

Oregon law bans possession, use, or sale of any fireworks that fly, explode, travel more than one foot into the air, or more than six feet off the ground. These fireworks are illegal because they are dangerous. The use of illegal fireworks is not a victimless crime and every year people are injured and property is damaged by this activity. In 2012, there were 161 fireworks related fires in Oregon that caused an estimated $233,673 in damage. Last year, 36 people were injured by fireworks across the state.

It's still too early to cull the 2013 fireworks statistics, but just a few anecdotes from this year in our area on July 4th alone include illegal fireworks causing a significant duplex fire in Sellwood that downed a power line and displaced residents; and a misfired illegal firework in Northeast Portland sending two bystanders to the hospital and causing a man to be arrested.
Contact Info:
Lt. Rich Chatman PIO, Media pgr. 503-940-6003