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Alert neighbor's call saves Eastmoreland house

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - Opening the front door of this Eastmoreland house, Station 20 firefighters were confronted with thick smoke billowing out.Looking out her window near S.E. Nehalem Street shortly after 11 am on April 1st, Eastmoreland resident Krystin Rose heard what she said sounded like a smoke alarm sounding somewhere nearby.

“I couldn’t tell if it was in our house, or next door,” Rose told THE BEE. “When I looked out the window, it seemed quite foggy outside. But then I went outside, and I could see that it was smoke, coming out of the back of the neighbor’s house.”

Rose said she rang their doorbell while calling 9-1-1.

Within moments, the crew riding Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) Truck 20, coming from the station just west of the Bybee Bridge, pulled up and began pulling hose lines and checking for fire victims at the house in the 3600 block of S.E. Nehalem Street.

Prodigious billows of smoke poured from the eaves of the newly-remodeled home.

“All residents were gone at the time of the fire, and there were no reports of pets,” PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Rich Chatman later reported to THE BEE. “Crews located an exterior entrance to the basement [where the seat of the blaze was found], and extinguished the fire before it had a chance to spread to other parts of the home.”

A firefighter exiting the home commented that, although the fire was limited, the smoke damage appeared to be extensive.

Chatman didn’t know that it was Rose who first sounded the alarm, but he confirmed, “Yes, it was a neighbor who noticed the smoke coming from the residence and reported it.” No damage estimate has yet been made public.