PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A family that lost nearly everything in a 4-alarm fire that swept through Northeast Portland on Monday is starting to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward.
Fanned by wind and dry conditions, the blaze ripped through a parking lot, damaged a nonprofit gym and torched several townhouses near Northeast Knott Street and Northeast 84th Avenue.
Alexandra Lombardo and Brandon Beck learned their home was burning while on their way back from the Oregon Coast.
They returned home to billowing black smoke and dozens of fire trucks. The exterior of the home had taken heavy damage.
The situation went from bad to worse when the fire reignited the next morning in the home’s attic, causing significant interior damage.
“Ash and embers caught our attic on fire and that then caught our washer-dryer, secondary bedroom and living room on fire,” said Beck.
Even the stairwell collapsed.
Thankfully, the couple was able to save a few precious belongings, like their pets and Lombardo’s father’s ashes.
“I’m just relieved that we’re okay and I still have him and we still have our little fur babies and they’re okay,” Lombardo told KOIN 6 News.
At least one other townhome was destroyed. Firefighters were forced to rip open its roof to vent it out.
Miraculously, no one was hurt.
“There were some units that had people in them and they all turned out okay and we all came together as a little community between neighbors and really helped each other out,” said Beck.
It could be months until Beck and Lombardo can return home but they’re trying hard to remain positive.
“At least we have a roof over our heads for the time being, even if it is a hotel,” said Lombardo. “It’s more than some people have in these situations.”
A friend started a GoFundMe page to help the couple get back on their feet. It’s already raised more than $3,700 of its $5,000 goal.