One man died Thursday in an early morning fire that destroyed a Northeast Portland home as firefighters fought through thick smoke and stacks of household items that hampered rescue efforts.
Portland Fire and Rescue said the man in his 50s was found in his bed in the home at 1307 N.E. 111th Ave. Firefighters said they had to dig through the home's 'excessive' contents to find the man, who was dead by the time they got to him.
The man's name has not been released. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.
Firefighters from Station 30 were called at 5:03 a.m. to the house where they found flames coming from the back of the building. Neighbors told firefighters that the house's lone occupant had not come out, so they began searching for him through stacks and piles of items in the house.
The house was filled with so much stuff that firefighters said they had trouble getting hose lines into the building to fight the fire on the first and second floors. Firefighters also had to move contents away from the house's walls to fight the blaze that had spread through the building.
Because of the stacks of items in the house, firefighters said the fire burned longer and hotter. It took about 50 minutes to bring the fire under control.
It was the second fire this week in Portland in which piles and stacks of household items hampered firefighters' ability to contain the blaze.