2 jump out of 3rd-story window to escape ‘suspicious’ fire

Multnomah County

Fire was at 3918 NE Garfield Ave.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Two people jumped out of their third-story window early Friday morning to escape a 3-alarm blaze that officials are now calling “suspicious.”

Portland Fire & Rescue said the fire started shortly before 4 a.m. at 3918 NE Garfield Ave. It was quickly upgraded to a 2nd-alarm before needing even more crews and resources.

Ten people were inside when the fire broke out.

“I woke up around 3:30 and I just heard massive banging and popping someone shouting woo-hoo,” resident Jaiden Maddox said. “I just someone drunk doing fireworks so I tried to go back to sleep but there was something about it I couldn’t ignore — so went to the window and saw the bright orange.”

The two people who jumped out of their windows were taken to the hospital. One of them is in critical, but stable condition. Both are expected to survive.

“It just came up so quickly by the time people inside knew what was going on,” said Teresa Williams, whose daughter jumped to safety.

“She has a cracked vertebrae. She has a collapsed lung. She has a broken hip. She has pretty substantial amount of burns on her backside,” Williams said.

Officials told KOIN 6 News that several others were treated on scene for burns.

A pit bull puppy was also inside the home, but it was tossed out the window. It survived the fall and is OK.

The blaze quickly spread throughout the home, working its way to the attic. Once at the top of the house, the fire caused electrical and power lines to spark — making it more difficult for crews to get the blaze under control.

Firefighters were able to keep the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings.

While the cause of the fire hasn’t been determined, investigators are calling it “suspicious” as there were reports of people screaming and hearing several explosions.

GoFundMe for fire victims

One woman told KOIN 6 News she witnessed someone throw something at the apartment.

“I can tell you they’re taking this one very seriously, and there’s going to be several investigators involved here,” PF&R Lt. Rich Chatman said.

The aftermath of the residence that caught fire early Friday morning, July 5, 2019. (KOIN)

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