Second Alarm Fire Incident in NW Industrial District
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a potential commercial fire in the NW Industrial District on NW Industr..."> Second Alarm Fire Incident in NW Industrial District
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a potential commercial fire in the NW Industrial District on NW Industr..." /> Second Alarm Fire Incident in NW Industrial District
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a potential commercial fire in the NW Industrial District on NW Industr... ">
May 30, 2023 22:55
Second Alarm Fire Incident in NW Industrial District
Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a potential commercial fire in the NW Industrial District on NW Industrial Way at 7:15 PM. The first caller to the dispatchers was from a passing driver that indicated a large industrial building had a large amount of black smoke coming out of the windows. Another caller from across the street of the address of concern noticed smoke coming from the building to make this at least a 2-caller incident. Multiple calls to our Emergency Dispatch Center generally increase the chances of something being called in is a true emergency that needs to be addressed.
The closest responding PFR fire engine came across the radio and indicated there was smoke present in the area as they were blocks away from the address in question. Upon arriving and taking command, the officer gave a size up or description of the situation to all other responding emergency vehicles. “Engine 6 has arrived to what appears to be a building as large as a city block with heavy black smoke pushing out of 3 sides of the large 2 story structure. The pre-fire indicates a 1000g propane gas tank on the exterior of the building so that will be something to take into consideration.” (A pre-fire is specific drawing of the building locating critical items such as power shut off, gas shut off, roof access, and other unique features of the building that aid in our operations at a site that is loaded into all our mobile computer terminals on the emergency apparatus.)
The first arriving chief was on scene quickly and took command. With heavy black smoke increasing from the building a second alarm response was added in the event there was a need for an increased workforce and emergency vehicles on scene to address the fire. Access to the building was slowed by an 8’ tall cyclone fence with coiled concertina wire looped over the top. Crews were directed to make entry by opening the large roll up doors on the address side of the structure.
With all first alarm companies preparing for what appeared to be a large fire in a warehouse the size of a city block building, the second alarm companies were starting toward the addressed emergency from their firehouses. Once the second alarm companies arrive, there are 8 fire engines, 4 fire trucks, 4 chiefs, and a rehabilitation and mobile air bottle rig. That will total nearly 60 firefighters on hand to address the emergency.
After the gates were opened, crews quicky went to work opening roll up doors and making access through man doors to gain entry to the inside. It was reported that there was heavy smoke on the inside of the warehouse but little if any noticeable heat present. An officer moving toward the structure radioed to command that there is active fire in a large exterior hopper. While some crews were opening roll up doors of the large warehouse to investigate the inside of the structure, others focused their efforts on accessing and extinguishing the fire in the hopper.
The fire in the hopper was extinguished as the large roll up doors were opened in the warehouse. With the placement of fans at entry points, along with a steady east wind, the smoke cleared out of the warehouse quickly. It was not certain that the fire in the hopper was all there was to address with the large volume of smoke present just minutes earlier. A thorough investigation of the entire structure, including rooms that indicated high voltage electrical rooms, which always can be a dangerous threat to firefighters, was completed. With no more smoke production and no evidence of fire in any other location, it was determined the fire was in the hopper and pushed smoke into the warehouse, filling the entire space, and then pushed out of all available openings around the structure. To help understand what occurred, think of this as a large meat smoker with a firebox on the exterior with the smoke directed into a larger enclosed area. Fire on the outside and smoke on the inside. The fire on the external hopper was extinguished and all smoke on the adjacent warehouse was cleared out with mechanical and environmental airflow from fans and wind.
A representative of the company arrived and confirmed that this is a known situation, but this had never occurred when employees were away from the structure and the situation allowed to grow to the degree experienced today. With a thorough investigation of the structure under the guidance of the employee completed, and no further fire emergency present, the incident was considered safe and under control. All companies not assigned were immediately released, which was the entire second alarm assignment, and the first alarm companies began to break down and reload hose to return into service.
There were no injuries reported and minimal damage to the property. Portland Fire & Rescue would like to thank our partners at the power company who responded to address any electrical dangers and the dispatchers who were able to help us connect with the building owners.