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  • 21 Oct 2014

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Man dies in N Portland house fire

UPDATE • Victim was 38-year-old Bradley Hays
by: Courtesy of PFR Nearly four dozen firefighters fought an early morning blaze Saturday, Feb. 18, that killed a 39-year-old man. Firefighters said the two-story house did not have working smoke detectors.

A 38-year-old North Portland man died Saturday in an early morning fire that damaged a North Failing Street home.

Portland Fire and Rescue reported that Bradley Hays was found lying in a second-floor hallway and carried him to waiting paramedics.

It was Portland's second fatal house fire in two days. On Friday, a man died in his bed when his Northeast 111th Avenue home clogged with stored items caught fire.

Firefighters from Station 24 struggled to search the house for people who were thought trapped in the burning building. Conditions inside the house were so hot and dangerous that firefighters had to crawl to find Hays on the second floor.

'Our helmet shields were melting,' said Capt. Rob Hutchens of Station 13. 'We knew we had to get out, but we gave it one more shot. That's when we found a man in the hallway.'

The fire was reported at about 3:54 a.m. at 435 N. Failing St. When firefighters arrived, several people who rented rooms in the house had escaped through windows on the first floor and in the basement. Firefighters found heavy flames coming from the back of the two-story house.

A ladder truck from Station 13 in the Lloyd Center area was used to search the home's second floor, where firefighters were blasted by heat and heavy smoke.

There were four people in the house at the time of the fire. Fire investigators discovered that there were no working smoke alarms in the house.

'With the second fire death in three days, we are urging citizens to make sure they have a smoke alarm in every sleeping area and on every floor of their home,' said Portland Fire and Rescue Public Information Officer Paul Corah. 'We just can't stress enough how important it is.'

A total of five engines, three ladder trucks, three chiefs, five fire investigators and 50 firefighters responded to the incident.

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire and damage estimates. The American Red Cross responded to help two of the adults who need assistance with shelter and clothing.