Did a roommate set a shared house on fire? No official word on that, but the other tenant says yes

DAVID F. ASHTON - Firefighters from several stations were dispatched to fight this house fire in the Foster-Powell neighborhood; but it was soon extinguished. It was alleged by an occupant to have been deliberately set. A fire burned part of a house at 8116 S.E. Lafayette on the evening of April 23. It didn't destroy the entire residence, but it did cause major damage to a room on the north side of the residence.

According to dispatch archives, after the 9-1-1 Center received a call that "someone is lighting the room on fire" at that location, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) units were dispatched at 8:15 p.m.

PF&R Lents Station's Engine Company 11 was the first to arrive, three minutes after being sent on the call, along with East Precinct officers. Arriving fighters told dispatchers they saw a "large fire in the front of the house"; and that some individuals there were resisting leaving the yard.

Officers spoke with a man who said his roommate was "lighting the room on fire" — perhaps in an attempt to harm herself.

It didn't take long for firefighters to knock down the fire; they then shifted to checking to see if the blaze had spread into the rafters, but it had not.

Although the resident was adamant that the roommate was still in the smoldering home, firefighters searched the interior and basement carefully — twice — and did not find any victim there. However, a crew member did report that the back door was wide open.

"There are unusual circumstances involved here," hinted a firefighter to THE BEE.

After looking up the records later, PF&R Lieutenant/Fire Inspector Rich Tyler did confirm that, "There was one individual standing outside the home, who was an occupant of the home at the time of the fire; but no injuries were reported." Lt. Tyler added that this fire continues to be under investigation.

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