Fire burns Ardenwald home on Van Water Street
Neighbors were on the phone to the 9-1-1 Center when they began to notice smoke rising from a house in the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood on Friday, December 27. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) dispatchers began sending engines and trucks at 4:26 p.m.
Just as PF&R Lents Station's Engine 11 crew was reporting to dispatchers seeing thick, dark smoke as they approached from Johnson Creek Boulevard, a person claiming to be a resident of the smoking house at 3711 S.E. Van Water Street called 9-1-1 Center to assert that the "garage fire is under control" – but a neighbor across the street called the dispatch center moments later, to report flames in the attached garage.
"In fact, we could see fire coming from the garage, and heavy smoke pouring out the front door of the home," the neighbor told THE BEE. Other neighbors said they were concerned, because they believed that "several families" lived there.
Firefighters searched the house as smoke continued pouring out of doors and windows, but reported that they found nobody inside.
A young female ran up the street toward the burning house, screaming "My baby! My Baby!" – but it turned out to be that she was concerned about her pet. Over the fire radio came the message, "Negative on the animals."
Firefighters from Ladder Truck 10 made their way up to the roof, and stood by to cut vertical ventilation holes in it. As it turned out, they only had to cut a small "inspection hole" – they found the attic to be untouched by fire.
Eight occupants, ranging from 18 to 75 years of age, were displaced by the fire, and were assisted by volunteers with American Red Cross who provided temporary shelter, clothing, and supplies. No word on whether or not the missing pet was found.
Estimated damages and suspected cause of the blaze were not yet available from PF&R officials as THE BEE went to press.
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