Portland Fire & Rescue
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News Releases
PF&R Responds to three fires in the span of 30 minutes (Photo) - 11/27/23

Portland Fire & Rescue respond to three fires in the span of 30 minutes.

Portland Fire & Rescue responded to two homes on fire in SE Portland in the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood with a second alarm fire assignment. With at one point 4 separate structures on fire, crews were assigned with the top priority in mind to address the situation at hand. Within 10 minutes the bulk of the fire in each home had been extinguished allowing crews to focus on each detached garage units. Within 20 minutes all fire was controlled with crews addressing small spot fires in each structure. A steady wind pushed the fire from one structure to the next. There were no reported injuries. There will be a total of five adults displaced, two from one and three from the neighboring address. This fire is currently under investigation. As crews were working on this second alarm scene, two additional fire responses were requested within the city with at one point placing nearly ½ of the on-duty members working at or responding to a fire.

At just after 8:30 PM PF&R was dispatched to a possible residential fire at an address near the intersection of SE 66th Avenue and SE Duke. The exact address was unknown, and the caller was uncertain if the fire was the detached garage at this location or if the garage and house were on fire. The first engine arrived to find two single story homes on fire. One of the houses had significant fire activity with fire showing on the two sides of the structure. The second home had a reduced amount of active fire in the front with most fire present on the backside of the structure. The command officer directed arriving crews to perform an offensive fire attack on each home with back up protection lines to follow. The first arriving truck was directed to search the primary structure with reports of an elderly female possibly still inside. Quick radio reports indicated heavy fire in what was called the primary fire home along with the detached garage. At this point, recognizing 3 different structures on fire and no completed search of either home a second alarm fire assignment was requested. This adds 4 engines and 2 trucks along with 2 chiefs putting over 50 firefighters on scene. 

With the fire now having extended to the detached garage on what was called the “delta exposure home”, crews were assigned as they arrived at the most pressing task at the moment. Crews were directed to take hose lines interior and cool flames from the inside along with conducting searches, using saws to cut holes in the roof to allow for the escape of the smoke and flames. The homes were the initial primary focus of the command officer. Following the fire suppression in the home, available crews were directed to focus their efforts on extinguishing any fire within the garage units. The safety chief acted as command on the delta exposure home and reported to the command officer of the primary home the conditions and needs for the exposure home. Shortly before the 10-minute timer most of the fire had been extinguished in the homes and crews were transitioning to the garage units. Searches of each structure had reported each home clear of any occupants.

At this time another potential residential fire was dispatched by Portland BOEC in the Powelhurst Gilbert Neighborhood. This directed the command officer to redirect all unassigned responders to the possible fire. Three of the engines that were in base, a truck, and a heavy squad directed themselves to this possible fire. The first arriving engine from Gresham Fire operating on the border of Portland and Gresham quickly reported a small external fire that would not need anything more than a single engine and cleared the other responders. Prior to the arrival of any responder on this incident, a third fire was dispatched out for a possible fire in a residential care facility in the Eliot Neighborhood. The first arriving station noted a very small fire problem and cleared all other responders. With a second alarm assignment and two separate single alarm fires, there were over 80 Portland Fire & Rescue members working or responding to fire incidents within the city.

As the other fires were being addressed, the second alarm multiple structure fire on SE 66th Ave. was winding down. Just after the 20-minute timer all major fire had been extinguished with crews focusing on hot spots. There were no reported injuries to any occupant or firefighter. The fire is currently under investigation with the fire investigator interviewing people at the scene and combing through the fire debris. 

Portland Fire would like to thank Portland BOEC for their help in all three of these events. We would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Clackamas County Fire District on the second alarm fires, members of Gresham Fire and Emergency Services on the second fire that was dispatched this evening. Lastly, we would like to thank the power company for their help in this house fire. 


FF's work inside
FF's work inside
PF&R Responds a Mobile Home Fire on Hayden Island (Photo) - 11/27/23

Last night (Nov. 26th) just before 5pm Portland Firefighters were called to a fire in a mobile home at Hayden Island Mobile Home Park. On arrival firefighters found heavy fire burning throughout the interior of the structure. Firefighters went to work to extinguish the fire and to confirm initial reports indicating that residents had escaped safely. 

The elderly residents were found and were safe. The fire was knocked down quickly and no injuries were associated with it. A PF&R Fire Investigator was called to the scene and determined that this fire was caused by an overheated wood stove flu pipe. The Red Cross will be assisting residents with emergency shelter and warm clothing. 

PF&R requests that Portlanders have wood stoves, fire places, chimneys and flu pipes cleaned regularly to avoid the buildup of flammable soot inside. 

Map showing the proximity of the two fire incidents.
Map showing the proximity of the two fire incidents.
Portland Fire responds to two fire events a block from one another two minutes apart. (Photo) - 11/24/23

Portland Fire responds to two fire events a block from one another two minutes apart.

Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a residential and commercial fire events separated by a block with the incidents dispatched out two minutes apart. The first fire, a residence, was tapped out at 12:37 PM with reports of a possible kitchen fire. The second fire, tapped out 2 minutes later at 12:39 PM, was initiated because of a water flow sprinkler activation for a restaurant located within a block from the house fire. These events put 58 members of PF&R en route to this area of SE Portland that borders the Powellhurst-Gilbert and Montavilla Neighborhoods. These events nearly cleared out all members on the east side of the Willamette River that are on duty as they responded to the area in question.

A residential fire response will summon 4 fire engines and 2 fire trucks each with 4 members along with 2 chiefs to the address in question. Upon arrival of the 1½ story home with a basement, crews reported heavy smoke pushing out from the back of the home along with out the front door that was left ajar. Face to face communication with a resident indicated all occupants had safely evacuated prior to the arrival of any fire crew. An offensive fire attack was directed by the command officer which has crews take handheld hose lines inside the structure to suppress the flames. The main body of fire in the kitchen area was extinguished quickly. There was some concern that the fire has extended upward in the ½ story of living space over the kitchen and any unoccupied attic space area. Crews advanced the hoses upstairs and cooled any hidden hotspots found by pulling ceiling material in the lower floor and opening walls upstairs to expose areas susceptible to hide any visible fire. While fire attack crews were working with the hose lines, other members of PF&R thoroughly searched the home for any resident to ensure the safety of all occupants and performed ventilation tasks by opening windows and cutting holes in the roof. All search efforts validated arrival information that all residents were safely outside of the structure uninjured.  All seven residents of this three generational family are uninjured but will be displaced until the home is tenable. The residents will temporarily stay with family that live nearby as plans for repair are initiated and complete. This fire is currently under investigation. 

While crews were actively working on the residential fire, a second fire alarm assignment of 4 engines, 2 trucks, and 2 chiefs was dispatched out due to the activation of a sprinkler system within a restaurant less than 300’ away from the house fire. This was initiated by an automatic alarm sent to the BOEC Dispatch Command Center because of the water flow activation in a monitored commercial alarm. The first arriving engine found a sprinkler head flowing water in the preparation area in the kitchen of a restaurant. This sprinkler head was not near any heat source and began flowing because of a mechanical damage or impact to the sprinkler head - something bumped it. With no fire problem, all crews were quickly cleared from this incident. The commercial restaurant is in contact with their alarm company for a sprinkler head replacement and their operation unaffected by the water flow activation.

The residential began in a cooking area in the home. Portland Fire and Rescue would like to remind you to always stay vigilant when actively cooking using a heat source. Never leave the kitchen when a burner on the stove is hot, set alarms to check food within an oven, and set timers to return to external BBQ appliances to reduce the chances of an undesired spread of any fire or heat being used in the cooking of food.

PF&R would like to thank the dispatchers from BOEC for their assistance in these two emergency events along with the power company who aided in eliminating electrical power to the residence in question while our crews worked in and around the home.


Portland Fire responds to car into a structure. (Photo) - 11/22/23

Portland Fire responds to car into a structure.

At 2:30 AM Portland Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a possible fire at what was addressed to be the Kenton Church. Crews arrived to find a car into a three-story structure located a block away from the church. The vehicle was completely engulfed with flames from the car to the roofline of what appeared to be a possible apartment complex. With the potential for significant fire spread and a need to evacuate or rescue many potential occupants a second alarm assignment was requested. The fire was quickly extinguished, and the building rapidly searched for any potential occupants with reports that the building was clear of all occupants. Three occupants of the vehicle were transported to the hospital: Two occupants were entered into the medical trauma system due to the extent of their injuries and the other reported to have moderate injuries. No other injuries were reported.

The quick search of the structure found the upstairs to be open office spaces and not individually occupied residences. There was only a small bit of light smoke present on the elevated levels of the building with no fire present. All second alarm companies were turned back to their home stations with the knowledge that the fire was only the vehicle and a small portion of the building affected and no residents present inside the building. The vehicle entered the structure through a large picture window which only damaged the wall below the window and did not damage the structural stability of the building.

At 2:50 AM the emergency was considered under control with all fire eliminated and individuals injured in the vehicle were en route to the hospital for medical treatment.

Patient safely on the road decking side of the bridge safety railing.
Patient safely on the road decking side of the bridge safety railing.
Portland Fire & Rescue respond to jumper on St. John's Bridge (Photo) - 11/20/23

Portland Fire & Rescue respond to jumper on St. John’s Bridge

At 9:19 PM this evening, Portland Fire & Rescue High Angle Ropes Team responded to aid in the safe removal of an individual who had climbed over the St. Johns Bridge. The individual had climbed down too far to safely aid in assistance from the railing along the road deck on the eastbound lanes of the bridge. The non-combative individual was quickly accessed and returned to safety uninjured. Although no injuries were sustained, the patient was transferred to a local hospital for evaluation.

Portland Fire & Rescue members of the St. Johns Station (PFR Station 22) arrived to assist police in a possible jumper mid-span of the St. Johns Bridge. The command officer assessed and requested the Technical Rescue High Angle Rope team to the scene. The tech team arrived and, after meeting with the first arriving members of PF&R along with members of PPB, they established a plan to go over the edge of the bridge, secure the patient, and return rescuer and patient to the road deck of the bridge. Using the large fire engines and heavy squads as anchor points, the ropes team established a high point using the suspension cabling overhead to safely lower a rescuer over the edge of the bridge. After the patient was secured to the rope system, they were raised up by members of the 26 Portland Firefighters on the scene. The uninjured patient was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and any needed medical treatment.

Portland Fire would like to thank Portland Police in their help with this incident. Additionally, PF&R would like to thank Multnomah County Sheriff and Oregon Department of Transportation for actively blocking traffic, so all members were safe while operating on the bridge.


PFR responds to hazardous materials release at local recycling facility. (Photo) - 11/14/23

PFR responds to hazardous materials release at local recycling facility.

Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a hazardous materials release at the Metro Metals Recycling Facility on NE Columbia shortly before 1:30 PM this afternoon. Employees of the facility, while performing their normal duties, punctured an unmarked and improperly discarded gas cylinder resulting in a release of an unknown gas that affected up to 10 individuals in the area. A HazMat 2 response was dispatched three (3) emergency response vehicles, the Hazardous Materials Specialty Team, the Hazardous Materials Coordinator, and 3 chiefs to have 25 members of PF&R on scene working. Quick recognition of potential health hazards led to the request of two transporting ambulances by the EMS Chief on scene brought the number of responders to 29 individuals. One individual on scene was transported to a local hospital for higher level of medical evaluation with minor injuries with all others in or around the cloud of gas released declined the need for any additional medical treatment. 

Portland Bureau of Emergency Services dispatched out Portland Fire & Rescue crews to the 5600 block of NE Columbia Boulevard for a potential hazardous materials incident at 1:25 PM. Crews arrived to find 9 individuals that had been affected by the accidental release of an unknown gas from a cylinder present at the recycling warehouse. The location of the cylinder was in a large pile of cylinders to be processed and recycled. These cylinders and other metal objects are kept in an open walled covered area that is approximately 100’x200’. The volume of recyclable materials calls for the use of large bulldozers to move the piles of metal around during the processing of the metal canisters and other recyclable metals present. During this operation, an unmarked discarded canister was affected, and a cloud of green colored gas emitted from the pile of cylinders. The cylinder was pinched and the gas under pressure escaped out of the wall of the damaged cylinder and enveloped a group of individuals in the area. 

Portland Fire & Rescue crews arrived to the location, established a Hot-Warm-Cold zone set up to properly address a call of this nature with the hot zone considered all area under the roof cover, the warm zone extended out another 75 feet from the edge of the roof and the cold zone anything further than the 75 feet of warm zone. All individuals working within the hot zone where in appropriate safety gear including use of their air bottles to ensure a safe respiratory situation along with the use of specialized gloves to prevent any unknown chemical from touching the skin of a responder. A medical branch with the four-person crew of a fire engine along with the transporting ambulance crews was located 100 yards away from the edge of the warm zone to have the medical evaluation area safely away from any hazard present because of the gas leak. Those that were affected by the release of the gas were able to walk on their own with no one affected to a degree that they were unable to stand and walk. It was determined that only one individual needed to be transported to the hospital after a thorough medical evaluation by professionals on scene.

The hazardous materials team used their specialized tools and training to determine the gas released was likely chlorine. This was determined because of a physical evaluation of the cylinder along with clues from their detection devices. Chlorine canisters have a uniquely identifiable fitting that was present on this unmarked cylinder. Additionally, chemical paper used in detection of pH noted a highly acidic substance, which also leads toward a chlorine gas. The team used a fan to aid in moving any residual gas in the area around to better vent to the atmosphere until no readings of any dangerous gas present on the gas monitors carried by the team. The cylinder was then moved to a secure area away from the site of the accident. The hazardous materials coordinator is working with plant management to establish a safe timeline to be able to return to the area of the release for safe operations of employees.

Portland Fire would like to thank the staff of Metro Metals for their help on this call along with the assistance received from Portland Bureau of Emergency Communications and our partners at American Medical Response. PF&R would also like to remind the public that accidents like this are avoidable and to ask that people dispose of their recyclables properly.