Strategy needed to reduce risk at Southeast Portland blaze

by: PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE/DICK HARRIS - Overhead electric line increased risk to firefighters battling house firePortland firefighters had to battle a Southeast Portland house fire under a burning power line Saturday evening.

Crews were able to extiguish the fire at 1421 S.E. Pine St. before could spread to any nearby structures. No one was injured by the fire. The cause has been determined to be careless smoking. The damage estimate is $80,000.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue, at 7:18 p.m. on Sept. 22, Engine 13 from the Lloyd District station arrived at the house and found the front porch fully engulfed in fire and the roof over the porch beginning to collapse. The crews could see that the power line coming into the home was on fire and arcing.

The crews took precautions to avoid the hazardous power line. The stretched a hose to the back of the house to enter it and fight the fire from the unburned portion of the house. This kept the fire crews from working beneath the power line and allowed for hose streams to push the fire away from the house.

While extinguishing the fire, crews also conducted a search of the house to make sure there were no victims inside.

Two additional hose lines were stretched to each side of the house to prevent the fire from spreading to neighboring homes. The fire had extended into the attic space and basement, so a truck crew was placed on the roof to expose the hidden fire in the attic and an engine crew was placed in the basement to extinguish the extending fire.

According to Porttland Fire & Rescue, the fire was declared under control at 8:14 a.m. Some fire crews remain on scene mopping up. PGE was called out to the scene to shut off power to the residence so crews could work safely.

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