Early morning fire at a church leaves two dead (Photo)

January 14, 2024 11:45


At 4:05 this morning we received a call from a resident stating their home was on fire and that the Church next door was also ablaze. The church, located at NE Stanton and 62nd Ave. had possible victims inside, according to the caller. They stated that there was an apartment on the second floor that housed members of the church. 

The first crew arrived at 4:12 and confirmed that both structures were on fire. Due to the possibility of victims in the second story of the church, our first crew made entry onto the first floor to attempt a rescue. Due to heavy fire, they were unable to make it to the interior stairs, so they shifted strategy and attempted to make access through a window on the second floor from the exterior. While we had one crew on the second floor and a second crew on the first, the roof partially collapsed. At 4:26 the Incident Commander gave the order to abandon the building due to extreme fire conditions. At this point, all crews were directed to fight the fire from the exterior until conditions improved. This meant putting up large streams of water on our aerial ladders and attempting to bring the fire under control from both below and above.

While fighting the church fire with the bulk of our resources, we had crews also focused on the house fire next door. Their efforts and quick actions kept the fire from destroying this home. The family was able to safely evacuate the house and no injuries were reported. 

Crews were able to bring this incident under control at 5:50 a.m. Fire investigators responded to the scene and started to gather information. They confirmed that there were two females in their mid-70s that died inside the church. Fire Investigators remain on the scene to determine the cause. This could take some time due to the stability of the structure. 

Portland Fire & Rescue would like to thank our partners at TriMet, PPL, AMR, and the Water Bureau for their assistance during this long and challenging emergency.