Stubborn store fire on Powell a challenge for firefighters
Late Thursday morning, February 25, heavy dark smoke began billowing from behind "Berry's Southeast Coin & Jewelry" at 8119 S.E. Powell Boulevard. Moments later, several Portland Fire Stations were alerted and dispatched at 11:44 a.m.
With as many as 15 PF&R rigs arriving, traffic was completely blocked off on Powell between 82nd Avenue of Roses and 81st Avenue.
The Engine Companies of Lents Station 11 and Woodstock Station 25 were first in, and the Lents' Engine 11 was designated the "pumper truck", to which firefighters hooked up their water supply lines and pulled hoses.
Other firefighters pried open the store's front steel security door and searched inside for victims, taking a water line in with them.
Laddering up to the roof of the one-story concrete block building, to fight the blaze that emerged near the rear of the structure, was the crew of Woodstock Station 25's Truck Company.
Mill Park Fire Station 7's Ladder Truck Company stood by, with an aerial ladder extended over the apartment building just west of the involved structure, in case the fire were to spread. In the end, that precaution was not necessary because firefighters' fast work had confined the blaze to the business building, despite being hampered by the burned-off electrical wire lying, live, on the ground.
Fire crews battled the flames for nearly an hour: On the roof – pulling up shingles, and spraying water inside – as well as on ground level. Eventually, after the fire was out, a PF&R Fire Investigator arrived to begin an investigation.
"No injuries reported," was all that we have officially learned from an unnamed PF&R official. But, more than likely, the stubborn fire is still under investigation.
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