March 26, 2022 05:20
At 2:18 am this morning, Portland Fire & Rescue crews were dispatched to a reported commercial fire at the Dollar Tree store located at 7740 N. Lombard Ave. Upon their arrival, crews found that the entire interior of the store was fully charged with heavy smoke and the west half of the building was on fire, including the roof.
Crews immediately began an offensive interior attack of the fire from opposite ends of the building. Approximate 10 minutes after the first crews arrived on scene, a ladder truck crew sent to the roof reported a dangerously unstable roof structure, with heavy fire coming through the roof with a large roof HVAC unit in danger of falling through the roof. At that point, a second alarm was called by the incident commander to bring more crews to the scene to assist and, due to safety concerns, the extinguishment strategy was changed from an offensive interior attack to a defensive exterior attack, with all crews removed from the building and the fire being fought with large volumes of water from exterior hose lines and from ladders.
Challenges in fighting this fire included: businesses like this with large open interiors can hold a large volume of fire and superheated gasses which can quickly lead to dangerous fire conditions; this building had concrete tilt-up construction, which are built with lightweight roofs that are highly vulnerable to fire and can pose a collapse danger; the building had a two level roof, both of which had fire involvement and partially collapsed; the fire ignited a natural gas-fed fire which burned until crews were able to shut off the gas at the meter.
After about 10 minutes of the exterior fire attack, the incident commander determined that safety considerations allowed crews to reenter the building and extinguish the remaining fire from the interior and to perform a search of the entire building. The second alarm crews were released from the incident shortly afterward and the incident was recalled. With the second alarm compliment of fire personnel, a total of approximately 20 fire apparatus and 60 PF&R members responded to this fire.
There were no injuries at this fire and the PF&R fire investigator is currently on scene performing an investigation to determine a cause.