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An industrial fire near the Springwater Trail started in a Dumpster, but destroyed a large building

GREG MUHR FOR PF&R - Starting before dawn on Thursday, June 16, crews from several fire stations battled an industrial blaze, spread from a burning Dumpster next to the Springwater Corridor Trail. A pre-dawn industrial fire on Thursday, June 16, at the southeastern edge of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood kept fire crews at the scene throughout the day.

Neighbors who take a shortcut from S.E. 72nd Avenue to 82nd Avenue of Roses using Luther Road likely had never noticed the large industrial buildings from which smoke was bellowing for hours that day, hidden behind a stand of trees, where the street crosses the Springwater Corridor Trail.

At 4:12 a.m., Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) crews were called to the Luther Road location and Clackamas Fire District Three units were dispatched to assist; the street is the actual dividing line between Multnomah and Clackamas counties.

Neighbors to the northwest of the fire, along S.E. Springwater Drive, told THE BEE later in the morning that they had been awakened by an "explosion that shook us out of our beds".

PF&R Lents Station 11's crews were first on scene, and reported to dispatchers seeing the building on fire, but due its the secluded location, they had trouble getting to it via the long driveway in from Luther Road.

COURTESY PF&R - As the sun rose, firefighters continued to spray water onto and into this Brentwood-Darlington industrial building, set ablaze a Dumpster fire nearby. When crews were able to access the building, the medal-clad structure was fully ablaze. A PF&R Battalion Chief in command soon declared it to be a "defensive firefight" — meaning that firefighters would not be going in to the building with water hose lines, due to the danger of collapse.

'Second Alarm' called

Due to the volume of fire and potential for its further spreading, the Chief requested a second alarm, bringing more crews to help fight the fire.

One challenge to firefighters was that, due to limited space, few engines and ladder trucks could actually drive onto the property. Another problem was that the nearest fire hydrants were quite some distance from the fire.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Although the fire was declared under control hours earlier, thick smoke continued to pour from the burned building for most of the day. The structure was considered a total loss. Crews did contain the blaze to one of the two main buildings, which held parts for building trailers. Also inside were tires, which fueled the flames for hours.

A PF&R Investigator determined that the origin of the fire had been a Dumpster on the exterior of the building, and how it caught fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported.


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