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'Selfless acts' hold off flames, allow emergency crews time to respond Sunday, April 17.

Two brothers helped hold off a house fire in East Multnomah County last weekend, allowing emergency crews enough time to get inside and rescue a trapped victim.

Richard Hilficker and Najee Newman leapt to action after a neighboring home ignited Sunday, April 17, in the 17000 block of Southeast Washington Street. The two brothers were barbecuing across the street when they heard screams.

Hilficker used a garden hose to begin spraying the burning house, while his brother got a fire extinguisher to help contain the flames. While the pair valiantly helped their neighbor, Portland Fire & Rescue and Gresham Fire & Emergency Services arrived at the scene.

Emergency crews made it into the home and got the trapped resident out of a window in the converted garage. There were no smoke detectors in the residence. The adult victim was transported to the Burn Center at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. They are in critical condition.

Afterward, the firefighters credited the quick actions by Hilficker and Newman.

"These selfless acts undoubtedly gave the resident a chance for survival as the fire was held back long enough to allow fire crews to arrive," a Portland Fire spokesperson said.


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