by: PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE - These two Southeast Portland homes wer damaged by fire Saturday night.Two houses in Southeast Portland were damged in a late Saturday night fire fueled by strong winds.

No one was injured in the blaze, which started in a house at 6924 S.E. Martins St. It was caused by an improperly discarded cigarette resulted in an estimated the $60,000 in damages.

Firefighters were called to the house at 1:38 p.m. on Nov. 23 and found flames from every visible window and door. Strong winds were causing the fire to spread to a neighboring house at 6916 S.E. Martins.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue, initial reports indicated that everyone was out of the structures when firefighters arrived, but crews still worked to verify they were empty. Strong winds and a power line down in the street created additional challenges for firefighters.

The crews began attacking the two burning houses with the resources on hand, but the fire commander called for a second alarm within minutes, bringing additional personnel and equipment to the scene. PGE was also called to secure the downed power line.

Firefighters brought the fire under control and fire investigators were called to determine the cause of the fire and to estimate damages. Several people were displaced and the Red Cross provided emergency shelter.

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