Why We Search:Transients Escape Portland Fire


Homeless people find their spot next door to a church on fire

Portland firefighters responded to a structure fire on North Maryland Avenue on 25 August. The structure was once a YWCA building and women’s shelter and had reportedly been abandoned for five years.

According to KOIN a homeless couple and their friend were sleeping in the boarded up house when one of them smelled smoke. A small fire was discovered and extinguished by those inside, but at some point later on the fire continued to burn (the news report is vague).

The transients were able to escape the house. A neighbor reported that squatter activity around the house was well known. Fire companies were able to extinguish the fire and protect the exposures.

It is ironic that the Side Bravo exposure is a church, isn’t it?

More items recently posted to the ‘Why We Search’ page include:

Tacoma, WA: Squatter dead in vacant house fire.

Saginaw, MI: Vacant home demolished after fire.

Fresno, CA: Squatter living in garage blamed for apartment fire.

Hamilton, MA: City works to fight rise in vacant building fires.


“Transient at house fire: ‘We could have died’” KOIN

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Bill Carey is the online public safety news and blog manager with PennWell Public Safety, or more specifically FireRescue Magazine/FirefighterNation.com, JEMS.com, LawOfficer.com and FireEMSBlogs.com. Bill started in the fire service, as a third generation firefighter in 1986, on the eastern shore of Maryland and then continued after moving to Prince George's County. He served as a volunteer sergeant and lieutenant at Hyattsville where he met Chris Hebert and Dave Ianonne, the creators of Firehouse.com. Bill went to work for them back in 2001 and after they transitioned away to new, bigger projects, he was hired by them again in 2009. Bill's writing has been on Firehouse.com, Fire Engineering, FireRescue Magazine, FirefighterNation.com, the Jones and Bartlett 2010 edition of "Fire Officer: Principles and Practice", The Secret List and Tinhelmet.com.

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