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A house burns near Chavez Boulevard (the former 39th), on SE Holgate Boulevard

DAVID F. ASHTON - Broken windows at the front of the house attest to the fires heat inside, from the flames said to have first ignited on the deck. A house fire in the Woodstock neighborhood, at 4014 S.E. Holgate Boulevard, on Saturday afternoon, August 12, at 4:06 p.m., brought a number of Portland fire companies, including those from Westmoreland Station 20, Woodstock Station 25, and Lents Station 11.

After firefighters pulled in their rigs, East Precinct officers shut down traffic on S.E. Holgate Boulevard from S.E. Chavez (formerly 39th) to 41st Avenue.

"There was smoke and fire showing from the back of the structure when crews arrived," a PF&R Battalion Chief told THE BEE. "A fence and a narrow side yard made it more difficult for crews to reach the back of the house. And, there was construction at the back of the house, where the ground was dug out, complicating our efforts."

By about 4:30 p.m., however, the fire had been extinguished, although firefighters continued looking for hot spots and embers, as smoke still rolled out of the structure.

A review of City of Portland permits shows that the homeowner had applied on May 2 to replace "failing foundation walls" on the south and west side of the home, and apparently it was excavation related this construction that hampered firefighters' efforts.

"The fire affected seven adults and three children. Red Cross volunteers provided resources to help address the immediate basic needs of those affected," reported American Red Cross Cascades Region Regional Director of Communications Monique Dugaw.

The cause of the blaze has yet be revealed by PF&R Investigators, but PF&R Public Information Officer Lt. Damon Simmons said they list damages at $140,000.

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