PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man was rushed to the hospital following a two-alarm apartment fire that displaced nine people in Lake Oswego Thursday night, according to fire officials.
Crews, including Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Portland fire fighters helped at the scene on Third and Evergreen.
Lake Oswego Fire Department posted videos of crews battling the fire with smoke billowing through windows. A fire marshal told KOIN 6 News it started in the bottom corner unit, then spread to the second floor and into the attic – which made it tough to put out.
Fire officials said at least 40 people were evacuated, but say there’s likely several more.
A woman who lives in the building told KOIN 6 News she heard what sounded like an explosion and then heard people yelling. She went outside and realized the building was on fire.
“I grabbed my kids and flew out as quickly as possible and then realized our next-door neighbor, she’s an elderly lady, and I was like ‘we have to get Lilia out’ and I had my son grab her really quickly,” building resident Chelsea Gomez said.
Firefighters say another issue was that the smoke wasn’t rising. Instead, it was moving through the courtyard and into the other building. That second building had to be evacuated as well.
Everyone who was evacuated moved up the street where they were meeting with the Red Cross who will take care of immediate needs.
The man who lived in the apartment where the fire reportedly started was taken to the hospital with burns to his chest. Officials say he has since been released.
The initial call was about a kitchen fire, which fire officials later confirmed.
KOIN 6 News was told it’s likely a crew will be on the scene throughout the night.
Lake Oswego Fire said the fire impacted 22 total units, and seven were a “total loss.” Only one injury was reported and at least one cat died, according to fire officials.