One man seriously injured as firefighters battle Sunday house fires

UPDATE • A candle dropped on paper caused fire that destroyed SE 122nd Avenue home
by: Courtesy of PFR One man was severely burned in this Southeast 122nd Avenue fire that destroyed a house Sunday night. It was one of three fires Portland firefighters fought Sunday.

A 62-year-old man was burned in a Sunday evening house fire, one of three that Portland firefighters battled during the day.

In fire on Southeast 122nd Avenue, a man suffered severe burns. The man, whose name has not been released, was taken to the Oregon Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for treatment of what fire officials called life-threatening injuries. His medical condition has not been released.

Sunday's three fires destroyed or heavily damaged houses in Southeast Portland neighborhoods. Fire investigators believe the blaze on Southeast 122nd Avenue was caused by a birthday candle used as a light source. They also say a cigarette tossed in a trash can caused the fire on Southeast Stark Street.

The first fire was reported at about 12:58 p.m. in a three-story house at 934 S.E. 32nd Ave. The fire was brought under control at 1:48 p.m. Investigators are trying to determine the cause of the fire.

High temperatures forced Portland Fire and Rescue to rest some firefighters who faced heat exhaustion while fighting the blaze.

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.

The second fire was at about 8:13 p.m. in a mobile home at 13045 S.E. Stark St. One witness told emergency dispatchers that someone was trying to kick the door down and that there may have been people and pets trapped inside.

No one was home at the time and no one was injured in the blaze.

Firefighters from Southeast Portland's Station 7 fought the fire that was in the back of the trailer home. It was brought under control by 8:35 p.m.

There is no damage estimate to the structure. Investigators are still trying to determine the fire's cause.

Another alarm sounded at about 9:04 p.m. for a house fire at 5704 S.E. 122nd Ave. Firefighters arrived to find a single-story house burning and a man standing outside the home with severe burns.

An electrical line dropped near the home as firefighters fought the blaze, forcing them to take precautions until Portland General Electric crews arrived to shut off power to the home.

The fire was brought under control at 9:41 p.m.

The home is considered a total loss. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

The fire broke out as the home's occupant used a candle to find belongings. Power to the house had been shut off a week ago, according to fire investigators.

The candle fell on some papers, causing them to ignite.

Investigators say the house had a substantial amount of clutter and piled storage, which was a factor in the fire's rapid growth and damage.