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Craft heat gun causes NW Portland apartment fire

The fire caused by a crafting heat gun set on a hardwood floor by a resident damaged a Northwest Portland apartment building Sunday morning.

No one was hurt in the fire, which was slowed by the building's sprinkler system before firefighters arrived.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue, at approximately 8:40 a.m. on Oct. 11, Portland Fire Engine 3 was dispatched to the report of a fire alarm at 1420 N.W. Lovejoy St. When the engine arrived, a resident of one of the apartments met firefighters outside and reported that one of the units was on fire.

After circling the block to check out the building, firefighters noticed smoke coming from a second-story window. The commanding officer then upgraded the incident to an apartment fire, balancing the incident to the appropriate number of responders to handle it.

Once crews entered the building, they found that the alarm system had activated and the sprinkler system was flowing. Interior fire attack crews made entry into the apartment and reported that the sprinklers had slowed the forward progress of the fire.

After a cursory search, crews determined that there were no potential victims and went to work removing water from the sprinklers to prevent property damage to the apartment and adjacent units. They used specialized water vacuums, squeegees, brooms and other tools to remove water to prevent damage to the building in a pocess called "Salvage." Firefighters will also move or tarp valuables such as photos, furniture, pianos and other irreplaceable personal items to safe areas in such operations.

It is unclear whether the heat gun was on or not, due to the extent of the damage.

Damage estimates are not yet available.