Significant clutter in the residents impeded firefightfers' effort to put out the flames; the house is charred inside

DAVID F. ASHTON - While some firefighters put out the blaze inside the house, smoke was released from the back part of the roof when crews cut holes to provide vertical ventilation. Several calls by neighbors to the 9-1-1 Center on Tuesday evening, August 16, at 8:08 p.m. about a house on fire at 6911 S. E. 72nd Avenue near Bybee Boulevard dispatched Portland Fire & Rescue crews to the address.

Lents Fire Station 11's Engine Company radioed back to dispatchers seeing heavy black smoke inside the 600 sq.ft. home — which was built in 1926.

A minute later, Woodstock Fire Station 25's Engine and Ladder Truck companies pulled up. A Battalion Chief sent some firefighters to look for victims inside the home, while others immediately started fighting the fire.

According to PF&R Public Information Officer Terry Foster, crews entering the home encountered "heavy clutter inside the structure", complicating the firefight.

By 8:22 p.m. firefighters had knocked down the main body of the fire; however Ladder Truck crew members were still on the roof, cutting holes to make sure the fire was fully out in the attic, and to provide "vertical ventilation" for potentially toxic and combustive gasses.

"At the time of dispatch, an ambulance was also sent to the incident," Foster told THE BEE. "The resident was evaluated by AMR paramedics, but was not taken to a hospital. Sadly, three cats perished in the fire, and several others are missing."

A PF&R Fire Investigator was at the scene, primarily examining a rear corner of the residence where the fire was thought to have started. However, the cause is still under investigation.

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