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A house cries for help, and the Portland firefighters respond -- in time to stop the fire early

DAVID F. ASHTON - In this smoke-filled second-story room, wearing a mask and breathing apparatus, a firefighter locates the overheating, smoking floor refinishing machine. Often, the report of a house fire comes from a resident or neighbor. But, at 6:42 p.m. on February 13, a Brentwood-Darlington house – with no one inside – called for help by itself.

Nine Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) units responded to an apparently-vacant house being renovated at 6908 S.E. Ogden Street – thanks to a properly-operating and monitored smoke detector.

The monitored fire alarm inside the two-story home sent an alert to a security company, which, in turn, alerted Portland's 9-1-1 dispatchers – who then dispatched firefighters to the scene.

The communication was rapid; so much so, that when the first unit arrived – PF&R Lents Station 11's Engine Company – they reported seeing smoke in second-story bedrooms, and quickly located the cause before the fire flared up.

The fire engine's water lines were charged [pressurized], and soon, the incident was declared ended. A PF&R lieutenant told THE BEE, "It seems that some kind of floor refinishing device was left plugged in – and overheated."

A firefighter used a pressurized fire extinguisher to cool the hot spot and solve the problem.

Smoke and fire detectors not only save lives, as the firefighters are quick to point out; they also save houses from burning down! Are yours working?

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