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UPDATE: The Portland Police Bureau thanks the public for helping to identify people seen near the fatal July 4 fire.

PMG PHOTO: ZANE SPARLING - Portland Fire & Rescue officials say at least two people died and four were injured during an apartment blaze on Northeast Weilder Street. Portland police arson investigators have identified four people, including a child, seen near a fatal apartment fire early Sunday. Police thanked the public for their help on Monday.

The four-alarm fire destroyed two apartment buildings, killed two people and injured several others. The names and conditions of the victims were not immediately released.

"The magnitude of this fire moved so quick that people had little time to escape and many did not. This is a tragic day for our city. I want to first acknowledge the pain and suffering of the victims and their families. I also want to praise the heroic efforts of the firefighters and residents that worked together to save so many victims under extreme conditions. If not for their efforts there would be a much greater loss," Fire Chief Sara Boone said after being on scene at the fire.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue, just after 3:30 a.m. on July 4, crews responded to reports of an apartment fire at 2226 N.E. Weidler. When they arrived, the crews found two apartment buildings fully involved. The fire was rapidly upgraded, ultimately to four alarms requiring multiple additional crews.

Fire teams were visible on scene just after midnight on July 5, keeping watch on the charred remains of the three-story wood-frame building with tuck under parking.

Two individuals were transported to local hospitals with unknown injuries. Additional patients were treated on the scene.

Witnesses stated that fireworks were heard in the vicinity of the apartment building but there was no confirmation that was the cause, the fire bureau said. PMG PHOTO: ZANE SPARLING - A four-alarm blaze on Northeast Wielder Street left at least two people dead, according to Portland Fire & Rescue officials.

-Tribune staffer Zane Sparling contributed reporting.


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