Low Grade Extension Cord Use To Blame For Early Morning SE PDX Fire (Photo)

Portland Fire and Rescue
Portland Fire and Rescue

December 31, 2019 15:15


At approximately 1:14 am, dispatchers at the Bureau of Emergency Communications began receiving multiple phone calls regarding a travel trailer on fire in the Mill Park neighborhood at SE 108th & Stark. Firefighters from Engine and Ladder Truck 7 arrived first and reported an approximately 20’ travel trailer was fully engulfed in flames. The crew had the fire under control within a few minutes after confirming the one elderly occupant had made it out. That person was transported to Emanuel Hospital Burn Center with life-threatening burns and inhalation injuries. 

Fire investigators have evaluated the charred remains of the travel trailer, taken statements from witnesses, and have concluded that the most likely cause of this fire was improper use of a low grade extension cord.

Please seethe attached  photograph that shows where the badly burnt and melted two prong (no ground wire) extension cord had been wrapped around an object. This is what investigators believe caused this fire.




Portland Fire & Rescue would like to remind residents that 2019 has been a bad year for major injuries and fire fatalities (7 deaths, dozens of serious injuries). 

Peak fire season for fires that are electrical in nature is November through March and the most serious injuries and fatalities happen at night. 

Please remember the following recommendations: 

  • Never use extension cords for extended periods of time. 
  • Never use extension cords for heating appliances.
  • Only plug one heating appliance into a single socket
  • If you do need  extra extension, use a power strip with a light and a switch
  • Check to see if your appliances carry at age with a URL or other approved laboratory test 
  • Don’t let your space heater become a “space invader” -keep all combustibles at least 3 feet away from your heating source.