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Natural gas meter burns in SE Portland house fire

Gresham Fire Department also responds to blaze near city border

A burning natural gas meter complicated efforts by Portland Fire & Rescue and the Gresham Fire Department to battle a house fire at 1715 S.E. 160th Ave. early Sunday.

No one was injured in the blaze, which firefighters were nevertheless able to extinguish quickly enough to save the bulk of the house.

The family of four and their pet were displaced, however, because of the damage.

According to PF&R, crews from both departments responded to reports of the fire at around 3:30 a.m. on May 1. They arrived to find a heavily involved single story home with an attached garage.

The first crews on the scene confimed that the occupants, two adults and two children, were safely outside. The family pets were also found safe in the back yard. The family reported that home's working smoke detector had alerted them to the fire and prompted them to evacuate.

The main body of the fire was located in the garage but had started to burn into the attic over the living area. Another challenge and potential danger natural gas meter. Flames and heat compromised the piping and natural gas was actively burning at the meter.

PF&R says many crews worked together to bring the fire under control quickly. While one crew worked to extinguish the garage portion of the fire a second crew worked to ventilate heat and smoke from the roof using chainsaws to cut holes. A third company was securing a water supply from the hydrant down the street while a fourth and fifth company ensured the home was free of occupants and worked to extinguish the fire above the living area. Meanwhile, a sixth company moved to shut down the flow of natural gas at the meter. The seventh company performed an overall scene assessment and stood by, ready to intervene if a member of a fire crew needed immediate help. Finally, two chief officers ran the operational flow of the call.

Although a fire investigator responded to the scene, the cause of the fore and damage estimate were not immediately released.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross disaster action team responded the scene and provided assistance in the form of temporary lodging, assistance to meet immediate basic needs, health and mental health services and information about recovery services.