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A fire badly damaged a home in the Errol Heights section of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood

DAVID F. ASHTON - While a firefighter from Clackamas Fire District 1s Station 2 heads back to his rig, a PF&R firefighter goes back into the still-smoldering Brentwood-Darlington residence. On June 2, dispatchers sent Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews out at 4:45 p.m. to an fire reported at 5003 S.E. Malden Drive in the Errol Heights section of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

This dispatch brought in crews from as far away as the Sylvan Hills, well west of the Willamette River – as well as Clackamas Fire District 1 Station 2 firefighters. But, first to arrive were Woodstock Fire Station 25's Engine and Ladder Truck companies.

On the way south from their station house along S.E. 52nd Avenue, a PF&R lieutenant on Engine 25 radioed back to dispatch seeing a "header" (a thick column of smoke) as they crested the hill, racing down to Malden Street.

At the scene, neighbors told THE BEE that flames had already been seen shooting out of both sides of the front of the house; access to the east side of the blazing structure was hampered by a large RV that was parked next to the home.

It took some time to declare the fire under control; after it was extinguished, a firefighter from Ladder Truck 25 told THE BEE that, while some of the station's Engine Company crew was connecting water supply line hoses and attacking the fire, others were assigned to search the structure for potential victims. He was one of the latter. "Inside, the smoke was rolling from the front to the back of the house; as we looked [for any victims], down the hallway the super-heated smoke 'flashed over' [caught fire] above us. It gets one's attention; but, this what we're trained for."

It appeared that one firefighter sustained minor burns in the incident.

Neighbors said that the resident of the burning house had managed to escape, but that she was concerned about her cat. Nearby, firefighters from Westmoreland's Fire Station 20 had found the cat and were doing their best to resuscitate it; the outcome of that effort has not been disclosed.

By 5:15 p.m. a PF&R Fire Investigator had arrived. The fire still is under investigation, and no cause has yet been publicly released.

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