PORTLAND, Ore (KOIN) — Neighbors in Southeast Portland are not surprised an abandoned building was destroyed by a fire that damaged nearby homes.
Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Portland Fire & Rescue crews rushed to the building at 2800 SE Powell Boulevard to find flames had already engulfed it. The flames spread to two neighboring homes, heavily damaging one and scorching the other.
One woman who lives in the neighborhood told KOIN 6 News she’s seen several fires in the area in the last few weeks at nearby homeless camps. She said people were staying in this abandoned building before the fire started.
The cause has not yet been determined. But firefighters said the building reportedly had a high volume of homeless activity inside and around it before the fire began. The building, which was boarded up before the fire, was in the process of being remodeled. It’s now a total loss.
Nearby resident Jamie Wiatt said her concern is that it keeps getting more dangerous.
“I don’t know what I want, I just want safety for everybody involved, me, them, you know, the people in my neighborhood,” Wiatt said.
She said she was homeless 6 years ago and knows how tough it can be to stay warm — but more needs to be done to prevent fires.
PFR — Houseless Related Fires in Last 365 Days
At the end of September, PFR said a fire spread from a homeless camp to an apartment building just a few blocks away at SE 22nd and Powell.
KOIN 6 News reached out for comment from Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office about what is being done to address safety concerns at the homeless camps. At this time they have not yet responded.