by: RITA A. LEONARD - Fire sparked by a discarded cigarette charred the rear of this rental home at 4615 S.E. 30th Avenue on August 26th.A 4 am fire just south of Holgate Boulevard caused $75,000 damage to a Reed neighborhood home on Monday, August 26.

Resident Bonnie Richards made a call reporting smoke in the home in the early morning darkness, and from its 52nd Street firehouse, Woodstock’s Engine 25 responded. When crews arrived at 4615 S.E. 30th Avenue, they found the back deck on fire with flames coming up over the roof line.

All occupants of the home evacuated safely before firefighters arrived – taking with them a pet cat, rat, and goldfish. Another pet cat was discovered missing later in the day.

Renter Kyle Yates reported, “The fire took out one bedroom, one bathroom, the kitchen, and the deck. Even the basement was filled with smoke. The roof caved in from the back forward, about halfway through, and there was smoke all through the attic.”

The landlord arrived later that morning to evaluate the damage. Yates thought the home would likely be repaired, although he, Bonnie and Luke Meyers planned on moving out. “At least I have renter’s insurance,” said Yates. “I lived in another rented house before, which also burned down; I learned from that.”

Portland Fire Bureau Public Information Officer Michael Silva reported the cause of the fire as a discarded cigarette near the wooden porch that had kindled in dry vegetation nearby – and the fire spread inside the home and up into the attic. Damage to the house was estimated at $60,000, with $15,000 damage to the contents.

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