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Reward offered in NE Portland apartment building fire

Federal officials are offering a $2,500 reward for information on the arson fire that destroyed a 46-unit, five-story apartment complex under construction on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Portland Fire & Rescue officials said Monday that an arsonist set the five-alarm fire in the early morning hours of Thursday, Aug. 8, that destroyed the building under construction at Monroe Street. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is seeking tips and offering the reward. Tips can be called into 1-(888)-283-3473 (ATF-FIRE).

No one was injured in the fire. More than 120 firefighters battled the blaze for more than an hour. The building collapsed and nearby homes were damaged by the heat and flames. A dozen houses were evacuated during the blaze.

Fire bureau investigators estimated damages to the Monroe Apartments development at about $5 million. The estimate did not include damage to neighboring homes and property.

The fire broke out at about 4:15 a.m. At about 4:30 a.m., the building collapsed. One of its walls pushed into an adjacent home, which set that home on fire. Two other homes were also damaged by radiant heat. At least one vehicle, a BMW, was destroyed.

The bulk of the flames were brought under control by about 5:20 a.m. However, several hot spots remained as of 7 a.m.