Big’s Chicken, apartments burn in NE Portland


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A giant fire burned through Big’s Chicken restaurant and a number of apartments in the building early Thursday morning.

Giant flames and heavy smoke could be seen coming from the building at 5663 NE Glisan Street around 6:45 a.m. Crews were working to put out the flames for over an hour. Portland Fire and Rescue said it was a difficult fire to fight because it had already spread to the second flood by the time they arrived and there were residents who needed to be rescued.

Officials said three people were treated for injuries but none appeared to be life-threatening. One person jumped from a window and injured his legs and two were rescued with ladders.

Christian Chavez, a resident of the building, managed to evacuate safely. “My friend and I just ran out. We didn’t grab anything, we didn’t have enough time to,” he tells KOIN 6 News.

Fourteen people live in the eight-unit building that housed the restaurant and Rooks Barber Shop. The Red Cross is helping those displaced residents.

Jordon Morehead, who also lives in the building and escaped, said he heard a loud bang. “I woke up, sounded like a bang, maybe some sort of firework or something,” he says.

Chopper 6 was over the scene as the man jumped out of the window.

Jason Owens, co-owner of Big’s Chicken, tells KOIN 6 News the restaurant opened recently.

“We opened in May so we’ve only been opened a few months and we love the neighborhood,” Owens says.

“We love Portland, all of our restaurants are neighborhood joints and I know this neighborhood in particular has really embraced us and a lot of people have been coming up and telling us thanks and sorry.”

Investigators said initial findings point to the fire being caused by an electrical issue.

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