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  • 23 Nov 2014

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Fire heavily damages SE Portland church

by: PORTLAND FIRE & RESCUE/ DICK HARRIS AND GREG MUHR - The unique bow-shaped roof made fire fighting difficult at this church.A southeast Portland church was heavily damaged by fire Monday morning.

Portland Fire & Rescue estimated the Apostolic Church at 5414 S.E. Duke sustain $1 million in damages. No one was injured in the blaze.

According to PF&R, at 10:43 a.m. on Feb. 3, church staff at the reported a fire at one of their buildings. When PF&R crews arrived they found heavy smoke coming from the church.

Crews were sent inside the building to try to locate and extinguish the fire, and to also confirm reports that all occupants had made it out. Once the extent of the fire was realized by incident commanders a second alarm was ordered to provided much needed additional engines and ladder trucks.

Crews reported that sections of the bow shaped roof and attic floor appeared to be failing. As a result, incident commanders ordered all firefighters to evacuate the interior of the building to avoid serious injury.

Fire crews dealt with several difficulties fighting the fire, one of which was the bow shape of the building's roof. The structure made it difficult for ladder truck crews to provide ventilation of smoke and heat to the attic space. This type of roof can also fail with little to no warning, especially in the case of a fire located in the attic.

Crews were eventually able to re-enter the building and completely extinguish the fire.

Fire investigators said that the fire likely started in a wall near the attic and that they are looking closely at some of the electrical wiring in that wall.