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Firefighters try to stay cool fighting house fire

by: Courtesy of PFR Firefighters tried to stay cool in high temperatures Sunday afternoon while fighting a blaze at a three-story house on Southeast 32nd Avenue.

Sunday's high temperatures hampered Portland firefighters' efforts to fight a Southeast Portland house fire.

Because of the rising temperatures a special rehab rig was called in to help cool firefighters with cold refreshments and shade.

Firefighters were called at about 12:58 p.m. to a fire in a three-story house at 934 S.E. 32nd Ave. Callers to 9-1-1 reported flames coming from the house.

The fire was brought under control at 1:48 p.m. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

The first in fire engine reported that the main part of the fire was coming from the rear of the house and moving up to the second and third floors. Firefighters had to use axes and pike poles to help open up the walls where the fire was moving fast.

Firefighters said two of the five people who lived in the house were in the basement trying to escape from a basement window. Both were freed and checked by paramedics.

'It is critical this time of year that we keep a close eye on firefighters working in the heat,' said Paul Corah, Portland Fire and Rescue spokesman. 'It doesn't take long to suffer heat exhaustion on days like today.'