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Neighbors quick calls save elderly womans burning home

by: David F. Ashton, While firefighters checked on her wellbeing, neighbors gathered to comfort the woman whose home was damaged by a basement fire.

'We look out for each other,' said a neighbor, standing in the intersection of S.E. Steele at 57th Avenue, as firefighters swirled around us. 'I was concerned when I saw smoke coming from this house, because an elderly lady lives there.'

This concern led her, and other neighbors, to promptly call 9-1-1 when they saw smoke coming from the modest blue home on March 3rd.

Within minutes, Portland Fire and Rescue's Truck 25 rolled in.

'Firefighters arrived to find smoke-stained windows,' Battalion Chief Erin Janssens told us on scene. 'They immediately called for a 'residential house fire' response, thus dispatching more units.'

Concerned that the occupant might be in the building, Janssens added, some firefighters made a complete search of the building, while others looked for the source of the blaze.

'In the basement, they found the source of the smoke, and extinguished it,' said Janssens. 'Fortunately, the occupant was out of the building at the time.'

In all, 24 firefighters responded to the incident from Portland Fire and Rescue Stations 25, 20, 9, and 11.