Arson investigators look at Springwater Corridor blaze

Unclear how the fire began

Emily Sinovic and KOIN 6 News Staff - PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) --- A fire that began outside the fence line of an auto broker's property burned into the property along the Springwater Corridor early Monday morning.

The fire near SE 82nd where it meets the Springwater Corridor began around 6:20 a.m., officials said.The fire was burning behind Vital Auto Brokers, 8306 SE 82nd Avenue, but firefighters had a tough time gaining access to the fire. More fire engines were brought in along with a water tender to help douse the flames.

Homeless camps surround the area but no tents were destroyed in the fire.

"It's gotten out of control," cyclist Miles Nation told KOIN 6 News. "It's like the city gave permission to camp out here, and it's amazing to see how much it's grown."

Monday afternoon, Mayor Charlie Hales spokesperson Sara Hottman shared the following statement in response to KOIN 6 News questions concerning safety along the Springwater Corridor.

 The City-County Joint Office of Homeless Services and the Portland Police Bureau are coordinating efforts in response to the public safety issues along the Springwater Corridor: The police will increase patrols along the corridor, and service providers will increase outreach to those camping along the corridor in an effort to get them off the Springwater and connected to services.  Early this year, nearby businesses joined a lawsuit against the city for allowing homeless campers on public property.

Arson investigators are looking into the cause of the fire and the damage estimate has yet to be determined.

"You do get uneasy when you see certain people...a little sketch," neighbor Katy Stoertz said.


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