Massive Early Morning Fire In Portland’s Concordia Neighborhood
Portland, Ore. — In the early hours of this morning, a raging fire broke out in the Concordia Neighborhood, sparking a rapid response from Portland Fire & Rescue (PFR). The incident involved a home under construction near the intersection of NE 36th and NE Killingsworth, which was engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived on the scene.
Upon receiving the distress call, PFR dispatched the nearest engine stationed at NE 15th and Killingsworth, which confirmed the visible blaze while en route and immediately escalated the alarm level. As a result, a total of eight fire engines and four fire trucks were dispatched, underscoring the importance of PFR’s preparedness for unforeseen emergencies.
Taking command of the situation, the engine officer reported that two three-story structures under construction were fully involved in the fire. The officer expressed concern over the potential spread of the flames to nearby residential homes located to the east and south of the site. With only 500 gallons of water onboard their fire engine, ensuring a steady water supply from nearby hydrants became crucial to combat the inferno.
One fire engine strategically parked across the street from the blaze and swiftly connected to a nearby hydrant, ensuring a continuous water flow. Meanwhile, the second engine, upon arrival, established a secondary water supply by connecting two large diameter hose lines to a hydrant located a block away. These efforts aimed to prevent the construction site, already nearly consumed by flames, from endangering adjacent occupied homes. Notably, the construction site appeared to be transitioning from a single-family dwelling location into multiple smaller residential units.
As the first two battalion chiefs arrived at the scene, they divided responsibilities. One chief focused on the main fire site, while the other, accompanied by an engine and truck, prioritized the protection of the occupied residence to the east. Recognizing the threat posed by the fire to elevated power lines, the power company was summoned to sever the electrical supply in case the flames severed the lines, posing an additional hazard to the firefighting teams.
Firefighters at the primary fire site diligently worked to cool and extinguish the flames on the fully-engulfed structures. Cognizant of the risk of collapse, all personnel and emergency apparatus were stationed outside designated collapse zones while employing copious amounts of water through multiple large diameter fire hoses. Fire trucks extended their ladders to provide an elevated fire stream if necessary.
Simultaneously, the engine and truck crew assigned to protect the neighboring residence removed any fencing between the construction site and the occupied home, eliminating a potential pathway for the fire to spread. The battalion chief further instructed the placement of fire hoses to prevent the nearby inferno from reaching the occupied residence.
During the firefighting operation, two of the three partially constructed buildings collapsed. Fortunately, the structures fell away from other nearby properties and personnel, averting potential injuries or damage. With the intensity of the fire, there was a concern that burning debris could be carried by the wind and land on neighboring homes. Firefighters promptly extinguished any burning wood that landed in nearby trees to prevent further hazards.
Due to the open nature of the construction site, fires can spread rapidly. However, the swift response from fire crews allowed for a quick suppression of the main blaze before the arrival of many of the second alarm companies. By the time additional resources reached the scene, the primary fire had been largely eliminated, with only small fires remaining in isolated areas. The compartmentalized efforts of the crews successfully shielded neighboring homes from the destructive fire, preventing any displacement of residents.
Thankfully, no injuries were reported among the fire responders, and residents in the surrounding area were spared displacement. While the power company promptly responded to the scene, redirecting the electricity in the elevated supply lines proved unnecessary. The investigation into the cause of the fire will commence in the morning, as authorities seek to determine the origins of the devastating incident.