Arson suspected in Foster-Powell fire at 'troubled house'
A fire on Wednesday, April 18, at 3:08 p.m., brought Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews to a Foster-Powell neighborhood home; and four Portland Police Bureau officers responded as well.
The house at 5919 S.E. Gladstone Street had been like many others in the neighborhood; neighbors said its owner was a respected professional musician, up until a year or so ago when "he changed".
Recently, at times, debris and trash would "cascade out the front door" of the home and into the yard and up to the fence, a neighbor told THE BEE. Public records confirm several "Owner Occupied Nuisance Complaint" filings this year at the Bureau of Development Services which enforces the Housing & Nuisance Code.
PF&R Woodstock Station Engine 25 was the first to arrive, followed in rapid succession by three additional rigs from two other stations, and the fire was quickly knocked down.
Reportedly, there wasn't even electric power at the residence at the time of the fire, and neighbors reported odd "chemical" smells coming from the house.
Firefighters on scene confirmed that the fire appeared to have started in the kitchen, and said they suspected the blaze had something to do with a camp stove found there.
As fire crews were wrapping up, police determined the homeowner could not be located. A call went out to officers out looking for the owner to report that he was being sought for "probable cause, arson".
The fire is still under investigation.