PORTLAND, Ore. --
A man escaped from his burning northwest Portland home Tuesday by jumping off its deck and rolling down a hill filled with thorny bushes.
The fire began at about 7 p.m. near the intersection of Luray Terrace and Cumberland Road. Firefighters said they were forced to deal with steep terrain to fight the fire.
At one point, neighbors said, flames were shooting more than 40 feet into the air and thick black smoke filled the area.
The fire gutted the back side of the home, melted siding and shattered windows as firefighters used hoses to prevent those flames from spreading to nearby trees.
Rose Rustin, who lives nearby, said she watched in horror as her neighbor jumped from his burning home to save his life.
"I kept yelling to John: 'Don't jump, John! They're coming to get you!" But pretty soon, he had to jump and (the house) was engulfed," Rustin said. "I saw him jump and roll down the bank down to Fairfax."
Neighbors said the homeowner was doing construction to the back side of the home prior to the fire.
It's unclear what caused the blaze. The homeowner was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries. His condition and name are unknown.
"We're just praying that he's OK," Rustin said.
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