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In the middle of the night, somebody started a fire in a trash bin pushed against Sellwood Communitiy House

ERIC NORBERG - Had the fire response not been prompt, the trashbin fire which seared the side of the structure could have caused serious damage to the building, which is over one hundred years old. Shortly after 2 a.m. on Monday morning, September 26th, someone started a fire in a trashbin placed against the east wall of the Sellwood Community House, on S.E. 15th between Tacoma and Spokane Streets.

Neighbors quickly reported it to 9-1-1, and firefighters were dispatched at 2:19 a.m. to put out the flames. However, they did spread to the side of the building and caused vertical damage up the side of the building all the way to the roof.

The power panel for the facility was in the path of the flames and was destroyed, and so the building — which previously was known as the Sellwood Community Center, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places — had no power the following day, and indoor classes and activities were canceled until the power could be restored..

However, Community House Board Member Elizabeth Milner commented, "As far as we can tell there is no damage to the inside of the building, thank goodness." When power was restored, its services to the community resumed, and repairs began on the burned section of exterior siding.

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