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The animal shelter next door was threatened by the flames, but all fifty dogs there were saved

ALVARO FONTAN, PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - From this overhead drone view, its clear why firefighters had a difficult time accessing the seat of the fire in the burning steel fabrication plant. A plume of thick dark smoke coming from a steel fabricating company, south of S.E Johnson Creek Boulevard at Stanley Street, could be seen for miles – at about 6 p.m. on Monday, June 10.

Clackamas Fire District #1 crews were dispatched to Hogan Fabricating Inc., and commanders soon called for a second alarm, bringing additional resources to the scene – including two ladder truck companies. Soon, a second alarm was called, and three Portland Fire & Rescue companies were dispatched to assist.

Next door to the plant, a woman burst in to warn staff at the "no-kill" Family Dogs New Life Shelter about the fire – the shelter was immediately adjacent to the blazing metal fab shop – and the shelter's Shannon Andreasen and a co-worker sprang into action.

"Flames were shooting up in the air very high – very red, very smoky, and very hot," Andreasen explained. "I was concerned about the 50 [canine] lives that we have here, so we started getting the dogs outside in crates, and hosed down our yard and building as much as we could.

"It was scary!" Andreasen recalled. "With the leaping flames so high – one little jump [by the fire], and we would've been goners."

Although the smoke was intense, all of the dogs were saved, and the shelter building also escaped without being singed by the raging fire, Andreasen reported. "We're really grateful to Clackamas Fire District #1 and the other crews getting here quickly and saving our shelter and our dogs."

Clackamas Fire District #1 was dispatched to the fire at 6:03 p.m. that evening, according to public information officer Capt. Brandon Paxton. "Access to the building was our biggest challenge. Early on, the integrity of the roof was compromised, so we pulled all of our firefighters out, and fought the blaze from outside the structure."

Added to this, Paxton said, was that the building's metal siding contained the heat, making it difficult to directly access the seat of the fire. 

In total 22 fire units responded to the incident, including an ambulance on standby, and a Rehab unit – plus Fire Investigators, and Portland Fire Trucks on "mutual aid".

"The fire was under control at 9:10 p.m., and the last unit cleared the scene at 2 a.m.," remarked Paxton. "Due to roof integrity issues, our investigators have been delayed in getting into the building to identify possible ignition sources, and the exact point of origin."

No injuries were reported in this fire.

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