Sunday May 19, 2013
Portland Officer Saves Woman During Early Morning House FireSalem-News.com
The early morning house fire sent 8 to local hospitals.
(PORTLAND, Ore) - Fire Investigators from Portland Fire & Rescue have determined that the cause of a morning house fire was ashes from a fireplace disposed of improperly. "It appears that one of the occupants put ashes from the fireplace in a cardboard box and left the box in the living room," Lt. Allen Oswalt with Portland Fire said. This fire started this morning at about 6:20 a.m. As Portland Firefighters were responding, crews reported a column of smoke in the area from more than a half mile away from the scene at 11341 SE Division St. Oswalt says firefighters arriving on scene reported a single family residence with fire coming from the windows in the front of the house, and victims in the front yard. "In all 8 people were transported to local hospitals with minor smoke inhalation, 2 adult males, 3 adult females, 2 children and 1 Portland Police Officer," Oswalt said. "The Police Officer reported the fire to dispatch and entered the house in spite of the heavy fire and smoke conditions. Most of the occupants had escaped and told the officer that 1 female was still in the basement. The officer crawled through the garage through the smoke, entered the house, and located the woman at the top of the basement stairs." Oswalt says the woman was unresponsive and the officer had to drag her from the burning building to a safe area in the front yard. "Once in the front yard he was met by firefighters who took over medical care of the patient," Oswalt said. 28 Firefighters responded to this single alarm fire with 4 Engines, 1 Truck, 2 Chief Officers and 2 Fire investigators/ The alarm time was 6:22 a.m. The fire was reportedly under control by 6:35 a.m. but then crews were recalled at 6:57 a.m.
Oswalt says firefighters recommend that ashes from any source, whether it be a fireplace or any other appliance, be placed in a metal container with a tight fitting lid, stir in water and put the container at least 10 feet from anything that will burn. There are several fires each year in Portland and the metro area caused by improper disposal of ashes. He says three common mistakes are: 1. Assuming the ashes are cold…coals can stay hot for a day or more! 2. Putting the ashes in a plastic bucket or cardboard box… always use a metal container with a lid. 3. Putting the ashes in the garage or on the deck…always put them outside away from anything that will burn. Firefighters recommend ashes from any source, whether it be a fireplace or any other appliance, be placed in a metal container with a tight fitting lid, and placed outside at least 10 feet from anything that will burn. Portland Fire says there is no excuse for not having a working smoke alarm. They are inexpensive and available at most home improvement stores. Also if you qualify Portland Fire & Rescue will provide and install one for free. The smoke alarm hotline number is 503-823-3752
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