Roofers inadvertently spark fire at Brooklyn house
Alert neighbors called 9-1-1 just after noon on Tuesday, January 3, when they spotted smoke and flames erupting from a vacant house at 3602 S.E. 8th Avenue in Brooklyn.
Workers were scrambling to get out of the burning structure as Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) pulled up.
Engine 4 from downtown and the Hawthorne Bridge Fire Station's Engine 21 were the first to arrive, and reported back to dispatch seeing a column of smoke while en route to the location. Westmoreland Station's Engine 20 was on the scene two minutes later.
As they sized up the fire and deployed crews, PF&R command staff reported that the fire had spread throughout the attic space and roof line, and was being whipped up by the strong winds blowing across the two-story house.
"This fire shows how wind can move flames quickly through a home, and make it difficult for firefighters to conduct our normal operation, remarked Deputy Chief Dan Buckner. "For safety reasons, I could not assign a crew to be on that roof."
After battling the blaze for about 45 minutes, the fire was declared contained at about 1 p.m.
"PF&R Arson Squad Fire Investigators have determined the fire was caused by a combination of roof work that was being done, and the presence of high winds," later reported PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman. "Total damage is estimated at approximately $200,000."