PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An arsonist started a fire in a dumpster that spread up an exterior wall of a building led to a 3-alarm blaze that brought nearly 100 firefighters to Southeast Portland in the early hours of Monday.
Investigators with PF&R determined the fire that began around 3:30 a.m. outside the Portland Garment Factory, 408 SE 79th, was set by a person who started the fire in the dumpster, then walked away as flames began to sprout.
The fire escalated quickly and 12 people living in an apartment building next door were evacuated as the smoke and fire threatened nearby structures.
Just minutes after fire crews were ordered out of the building the roof collapsed, officials said. More than 20 of the 31 fire stations in the city responded to the scene.
No injuries were reported.
A security camera captured a person starting the fire in the dumpster. That person is actively being sought.
“This is a traumatic and devastating loss for the business owner, the property owner, and the team of employees who embraced the innovation and creative niche of the Portland Garment Factory, and the community itself,” PF&R Chief Sara Boone said in a statement.
The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call 503.823.4636.