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The store above was not damaged, but customers were evacuated till the fire was out

DAVID F. ASHTON - Quick firefighter response, and a working sprinkler system that kept spraying even after the blaze was out, saved the other vehicles under the Powell Boulevard Safeway when this pickup truck caught fire in the stores parking basement. Shoppers in the Safeway Store at 3930 S.E. Powell Boulevard said they realized "something was not right" when the acrid smell of burning rubber and plastic wafted from the subterranean parking lot up into the store on the afternoon of Thursday, July 12.

Fire alarms sounded, and the building was quickly evacuated.

"Something smelled definitely like it was on fire, and it wasn't burning bread!" shopper LeWanda Greene told THE BEE as she waited outside.

Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) received the call at 3:12 p.m., and within four minutes Hawthorne Station 9's Engine Company had arrived, quickly followed by firefighters from Woodstock's Station 25.

The incident commander, a PF&R Battalion Chief, told THE BEE that a blue Ford Ranger pickup truck, parked at the north wall of Safeway's underground parking area, had caught on fire.

"The sprinkler system in the garage worked, and kept the fire in check until we were able to extinguish it," the Chief said.

There were no injuries; and, after airing out the store and underground parking area, shoppers moved back inside to continue filling their carts – thanks to the quick response of Portland's firefighters.

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