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Jun-21-2009 18:37printcomments

One Man Dies and Two Injured in Portland Apartment Fire

Fatal Apartment Fire in North Portland‏

Portland, Oregon Fire logo

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Portland Fire and Rescue crews were dispatched to an apartment fire at 5811 North Lombard Saturday at 11:31 p.m.

Lt. Rich Tyler with Portland Fire & Rescue says the first engine arrived at 11:33 p.m. to find lots of fire and smoke coming from a second story apartment.

"Fire crews quickly got hoses stretched to the apartment and began putting the fire out while other fire crews began evacuating the other apartments," Tyler said.

He explained that two adult males were injured in the apartment fire. Those men were both were transported to Emanuel Hospital, one in critical condition and the other with minor injuries.

"A third occupant of the apartment did not make it out of the apartment. The adult male was pronounced dead on scene," Tyler said.

That man has been identified as Thomas Monell Gibson, who was born in 1955.

"Fire crews stopped the fire from spreading from the apartment where the fire had started. However, fire suppression efforts affected one other apartment and the American Red Cross sheltered the occupants."

He says the cause of the fire was determined to be an overloaded electrical outlet. There were also no working smoke detectors in the apartment.

The fire caused approximately $80,000 damage to the apartment. A total of 39 firefighters were called out to fight the fire.

"Portland Fire & Rescue recommends that electrical outlets not be overloaded. Only plug in the number of plugs that the outlet contains, normally 2. If a power strip is added, we recommend that another power strip not be plugged into the first power strip. Too much electrical draw on a circuit can cause a fire."

Tyler says Portland Fire & Rescue also recommends replacing your smoke detector if it is more than 10 years old.

"The sensing mechanism will lose its effectiveness after 10 years, and it can become clogged with dust. We also recommend installing a smoke detector on each floor, and one outside of each sleeping area. If you sleep with your bedroom door closed you should have a smoke detector in the room."

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

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