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In neither case was there much damage, and nobody was hurt, but but both led to a big firefighter callout

DAVID F. ASHTON - Checking the HVAC equipment on the roof of Sellwood Senior Living on 17th Avenue, after a fire alarm sounded, were mutual-aid firefighters from Clackamas Fire District #1 Ladder Truck Company #304.Fire alarm claxons were sounding in the building, Thursday, October 7, as the staff escorted residents out of the multi-story "Sellwood Senior Living" at 8517 SE 17th Avenue in Sellwood. Fire companies from several stations were dispatched at 5:37 p.m. with mutual aid support from firefighters with Clackamas Fire District #1.

Clackamas Fire's Ladder Truck Company #304 was first into the retirement home's parking lot. Its crew extended their ladder to the top of the tall building and scrambled up to the rooftop.

Central Precinct officers blocked both lanes of S.E. 17th Avenue at Harney and Marion Streets, as a total of ten fire units, including those from Westmoreland Fire Station 20 and Woodstock Fire Station 25 were part of the large response.

No flames or smoke were showing; "Our Ladder Truck crew members are on the roof, looking at the heating equipment located up there," Clackamas Fire District #1 Battalion Chief Burke Slater told THE BEE.

"After examining it all, they didn't find a problem; so we're not sure what caused the alarm – other than that someone smelled smoke, or a 'hot' smell," Chief Slater commented. "But, we're here to serve, and happy to provide 'mutual aid' to our Portland Fire firefighters today."

With danger having passed, the fire equipment returned to their respective stations, and the residents were helped back into their building.

DAVID F. ASHTON - High above the ground on a fully-extended aerial ladder, at the top of an abandoned concrete plant silo near the Ross Island Bridge, firefighters put out what appeared to have been an arson fire in a rather inaccessible place. The following day, Friday evening, October 8, a similar heavy callout of firefighters from across the area responded to a commercial fire alarm near S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard, just north of the Ross Island Bridge. First-arriving crews beheld the odd sight of a fire burning atop a tall cement plant silo, at 2611 S.E. 4th Avenue, an industrial area along the Willamette River. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews broke open the gates to a currently-unoccupied Readymix/Drymix concrete facility to gain access to the fire.

PF&R's Fire Station 4's Ladder Truck Company extended their ladder to the top of the tall structure; firefighters clambered to the top, carrying two different kinds of portable fire extinguishers.

"This was an odd fire, as it was on top of an abandoned silo," confirmed PF&R Public Information Officer Terry Foster. "It appears someone, for unknown reasons, climbed to the top of this, and lit a fire," Foster later told THE BEE. "Firefighters used an extinguisher to put out the fire; it didn't extend to other areas, and no one was injured." Firefighters from several locations were shortly afterward returned to their respective stations.

Both these fires turned out to be minor; but Portland Fire and Rescue always responds to every report of fire fully ready to battle upon arrival whatever they find.


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