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Suspicious fires damage vacant building, trash bins

by: Courtesy of Portland Fire and Rescue Portland firefighters battled a suspicious blaze at a vacant commercial building on Northeast Couch Street early Friday morning.

Portland Fire and Rescue investigators said Friday three early morning fires that damaged two Dumpster trash containers and a vacant commercial building were suspicious.

Investigators said the two Dumpster fires did little damage. The third fire on Northeast Couch Street damaged the exterior of a former bank building.

Firefighters were called at about 2:45 a.m. July 22 to Southeast 30th Place and Ankeny Street where they found a Dumpster that had been set on fire. The blaze was quickly extinguished.

As firefighters from Southeast Portland's Station 9 were leaving that fire, another was reported at 3:05 a.m. at 3421 S.E. Salmon St., again in a dumpster. That was also quickly extinguished.

The third fire was reported at 3:21 a.m. at 2625 N.E. Couch St., where firefighters found a commercial building damaged by a fire that appeared to have started in the former drive-through banking area. Firefighters, who quickly put out the fire and prevented it from extending to the building's interior, estimate the fire caused about $20,000 to the structure.