Off-duty firefighter helps man at burning home

Multnomah County

Maggie Blackwood has been with Portland Fire and Rescue for 12 years

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An off-duty firefighter spotted a burning home in North Portland and rushed to help a man who was outside trying to fight the flames Friday.

The fire happened around noon in the 23000 block of North Kilpatrick next to Kenton City Park. The man, who did not want to be publicly identified, told KOIN 6 News he was outside when he started to see flames coming from his house. His number one concern was saving his home, so he went for the gardening hose and started to fight the flames.

That’s when firefighter Maggie Blackwood saw what was happening as she walked by. She immediately jumped in to help.

“She came on the scene and was working to get the homeowner to come away from the fire,” said Damon Simmons of Portland Fire and Rescue. “She said, ‘I’ll take over here, you need to move away from the fire.’ But before she could get him fully away from the fire, the homeowner was burned a little bit.”

“It’s just a part of who we are,” said Simmons. “Any opportunity that we get to help people, we are going to take advantage of it and we are going to get in there and do what we can to keep people safe.”

The good news: the homeowner did not need to be taken to the hospital.

After the flames were put out, it was discovered that the fire started in the kitchen, but the exact cause is unknown at this time.

The homeowner said there were 35 years of memories inside the home.

Blackwood is a 12-year veteran with Portland Fire and Rescue. The department said they were proud of her and glad she was there to help.

Fire crews told KOIN 6 News the main lesson from Friday’s events was if you have a fire, don’t try to fight it yourself because it only takes a second for smoke to overcome people.

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