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A homeless campfire adjacent to the building hosting the Brooklyn Post Office burned down the camp

RITA A. LEONARD - The charred remains of the homeless camp at S.E. 15th Avenue and Franklin Street in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Since Thanksgiving, a small homeless encampment was growing along S.E. 15th Avenue, between Franklin Street and the eastbound 17th Avenue offramp from Powell Boulevard, in the Brooklyn neighborhood. Dilapidated vehicles, small tents, bike parts, discarded furniture, and a host of trash and debris lined both sides of S.E. 15th, blocking the sidewalks on either side. Wooden pallets permitted some elevation of tents above the cold ground.

During the cold weather in January, various small bonfires and portable grills served as sources of heat for the campers. However, on the morning of February 7, one such fire got out of control, searing a swath of charred paint and smoke up the south side of the two-story building which houses the Brooklyn Post Office at the west end. Flames also engulfed a nearby tree and camping equipment.

Smoke from the briskly burning fire rose above the rooftop, and could be seen several blocks away. Portland Fire Bureau's C-4 Chief's car was the first to respond, followed shortly by Rescue 23 from nearby PFB Station 23. Several other rigs pulled up soon after, and put out the blaze. By the end of that week, the accumulated trash and debris had been cleaned up. No injuries were reported.

However, many of those from the burned encampment simply moved across the street – to the other side of S.E. 15th, near the Dental Building. That campsite has been asked to move.

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