The 9-1-1 call came from the resident who had gone back into the smoke to search for her dogs. An ambulance was immediately added to the response as a precautionary measure. The two occupants were outside when fire crews arrived and were evaluated for smoke inhalation but were not transported.
An engine and truck from Parkrose Station 2 were first to arrive and reported smoke and flames coming from the back of the house. A quick search of the house found three dogs. Two of the dogs were successfully resuscitated using donated specialized pet rescue equipment from a local veterinary clinic. A third dog died at the scene is and is in the custody of the owners.
Complicating this incident were overhead electrical lines that were down over the top of cars in the driveway. In addition to the power line hazard, water pipes were energized by power lines that were compromised, making it difficult to shut off the municipal water supply to the home.
"The quick initial response contributed to the overall successful outcome of this incident" said battalion chief Rich Stenhouse.
Portland Fire & Rescue has fire stations strategically located throughout the city to maximize efficiency and response times. The fire was knocked down within ten minutes.
PF&R Investigators are on-scene working, fire cause and damage estimates will be released as they become available.
(4) Engines, (1) Truck, (2) Chief Officers, (1) Investigator and a PIO responded to this incident for a total of (23) personnel.
PF&R reminds its citizens that re-entering a structure that is charged with smoke and fire can have dangerous or even fatal results. Call 9-1-1 from a safe location, and be ready to give arriving fire crews any information that can aid in search and rescue efforts.UPDATE, 12/23/2012 @ 4:16 pm
Investigators are continuing to work towards identifying a cause of the fire, however it has been determined that the fire originated in the garage. The resident heard a noise in the garage and opened the door from the house to the garage and encountered heavy fire and thick, black smoke that had banked all the way down to the floor. Introducing fresh air to the garage accelerated the fire. It is important to remember that closing any doors between a fire and occupied space can reduce a fire's growth, limit damages and allow for more time to escape or be rescued.
During the course of the investigation, it was discovered that there were no working smoke detectors in the home. Unrelated to the fire cause in this case, it was also noted by investigators that there were large quantities of extension cords in use in the garage, which in some cases have been known to be an ignition source.
PF&R Investigations estimates the damages at around $50,000.
Photos courtesy of PF&R Photographer Dick Harris
Contact Info: PIO / Firefighter Tommy Schroeder Media Pager: (503) 940-6003