5-Alarm Portland (OR) Fire Prompts Evacuations

UPDATE: Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Rich Chatman said (http://bit.ly/132PJrx) the fire was so large, the more than 120 firefighters on hand were forced to take a defensive posture. No firefighters were inside the building; instead, they focused on getting water on the outside of the building to prevent it from spreading more than it already had.

Chatman said so much water was needed to fight the fire that crews had to coordinate with the Portland Water Bureau. More than one million gallons of water were used.

The fire was one of the largest in Portland in recent memory. The last five-alarm fire in Portland was at the Thunderbird hotel on Hayden Island in September.

Portland Fire & Rescue’s Timeline of Events

  • 4:14 – Call comes in
  • 4:14 – Witness reports all five stories engulfed
  • 4:16 – Second alarm (based on glow, smoke)
  • 4:17 – Engine 13 arrives
  • 4:19 – Engine 13 reports house to the west has flames showing
  • 4:21 – Third alarm
  • 4:21 – Water Bureau is asked to increase pressure
  • 4:26 – Collapse warning
  • 4:28 – Chief 2 asked for emergency tones – impending collapse
  • 4:28 – Fourth alarm
  • 4:29 – Collapse on MLK side
  • 4:30 – Two other sides collapse
  • 4:30 – All engines on scene do a check of firefighters’ whereabouts
  • 4:45 – Fifth alarm
  • 5:05 – Fire chief arrives on scene
  • 5:07 – ODOT posts warning to alert drivers
  • 5:08 – Report that the house behind the structure could not be saved
  • 5:21 – Red Cross & TriMet assistance requested
  • 6:03 – NW Natural cuts service to homes in the area
  • 6:07 – Pacific Power cuts service within an eight-block radius
  • 6:15 – ATF agents arrive on scene
  • 6:32 – Recall on fire placed; no more crews needed on scene
  • 8:19 – Shift change: B-shift arrives to relive A-shift
  • 9:36 – Bureau of Emergency Communications (emergency dispatchers) discontinues monitoring

Original Story: Firefighters battled a five-alarm fire at a four-story apartment building under construction in Portland, Oregon.

No one was injured in the fire, according to a report from The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/14Af7G7).

More than 90 minutes after the initial 4:14 a.m. call, firefighters continued to battle the burning building, which sent thick smoke billowing across the city’s northeast side and flames more than 30 feet in the air. More than 120 firefighters responded to the fire, which spread to two or three nearby buildings and forced residents to flee.

Read further details about the fire at http://bit.ly/14Af7G7.

For more on apartment building firefighting and related issues, consider Castle West Apartment Building Fire , Colorado Springs, EXPOSURE IDENTIFICATION BY BOB PRESSLER, and EXPOSURE PROTECTION FOR WELL-INVOLVED STRUCTURES.

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