Featured Stories

Workers fast action prevents Reed College blaze

by: David F. Ashton, Fire officials say if a college maintenance worker hadn’t doused the fire on this building with a garden hose, it might have turned into a major blaze.

The fire at a building on S.E. 28th Avenue which is used by Reed College for storage might now be a pile of smoldering ruins if it hadn't been for the quick response of a college maintenance man--and his trusty garden hose.

The worker, who asked not to be identified, said he got a call to check on smoke coming from the building late in the day on Thursday, October 5th. 'It was smoking all right; it was a fire. After I called 9-1-1, I grabbed the garden hose and started spraying water.'

Portland Fire and Rescue's Battalion 3 Commander Captain Chris Babcock said it looked as if the fire was sparked earlier in the day when workers were 'doing some 'torch-down' roofing. They use an open flame to get the roofing material to flow into the cracks.'

Firefighters used a thermal imager to make sure the fire was completely out.

Nearby, the roofing contractor foreman bemoaned the fact that part of the day's handiwork was being ripped up, as firefighters made sure there were no extensions to the fire.

'Always call 9-1-1 first,' Babcock reminded. 'then, take measures you can safely take. Quick response with a garden hose saved the building from more extensive damage.'