Portland Crews Slowed by Small Stairwell at Fire

Firefighters encountered a narrow stairwell while trying to contain a house fire in Portland on Sept. 17.

At 5:52 p.m. Portland Fire & Rescue units were dispatched to a residential fire at 3316 SE 131st Ave. Initial reports were that smoke and fire were visible from the roof.

Truck 7 and Engine 7 were among the first units to arrive and confirmed that heavy brown smoke was coming out, under pressure, from the eaves and second floor.

Once it was verified that the tenants had all made it out safely, the engine crew advanced a hoseline into the home. The crew reported difficulty accessing the second floor because the stairwell was approximately 20 inches wide.

The truck crew cut ventilation holes in the roof, allowing the smoke to exit, which also gave the engine crew access to the fire location.

There were no injuries as a result of this fire and the Red Cross was called to assist seven residents. 

The department responded with four engines, one truck, two chiefs, one rehab unit and a investigator.