May 11, 2022 06:05
At 1:08 AM this morning a call came in from a care facility at 12045 SE Pardee St. in Portland. A caller at the facility told dispatchers that there was a fire in the roof of this facility. Crews were dispatched at 1:09 and the first apparatus on scene found heavy fire from the roofline (see video) and went all-in for search. While Engine 7 began to pull hose lines to fight the fire, Truck 7 went interior where they found a couple of employees of the facility pulling residents out to safety. Truck 7 began to pull other victims from their rooms as the fire blew down the vents and light fixtures above their heads. Truck 7 requested more crews to help with evacuation so Engine 29 and Engine 25 assisted in evacuation as every room had people inside that couldn’t evacuate themselves. A total of 16 people were evacuated out of the front of the structure. At approximately 1:15 Command called for a second alarm, at this point a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) was called for due to the possibility of multiple victims. This brought additional fire units as well as AMR transport units.
Truck 7 continued the search of the rear of the building where they found an attached two-story building that had additional residents. They were able to safely evacuate an additional 8 victims and get them to safety. At this point, the priorities of command shifted to extinguishment and the additional crews focused more on the fire that was now consuming a large portion of the attic space of this U-shaped building. Crews did begin to pull the ceiling and attack the fire from below but the attic was so heavily involved that crews were ordered to withdraw and attack the fire from the exterior until it was safe to continue interior operations.
During the firefighting operations, crews including Fire, AMR, and PPB helped move victims to a safe place to allow operations to continue. At about 1:44 part of the roof structure collapsed but did not fall onto any firefighters as they were ordered out in anticipation of such collapse. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control and it was recalled at 2:25. It is without a doubt that having the appropriate resources made a difference in the outcome of this incident.
When asked about this, Fire Chief Sara Boone said “First and foremost, I want to commend the heroism of the two on-site employees who risked their lives starting the initial evacuation of the residents under heavy fire conditions. When firefighters arrived their number priority was the immediate rescue of every resident within the facility under worsening fire conditions. Because of their tactical decisions and valiant efforts so many lives were saved and turned near tragedy into an incredible success story. I’d like to recognize and thank AMR, our mutual aid partners Clackamas County Fire and Gresham Fire, BOEC, Portland Police, TRI-Met, Red Cross, PGE, and NW Natural Gas for their critical contributions on this complex incident. Portland should be proud.”