Fires at US Bank Tower, other Portland spots ruled arson


No one hurt, arson investigators actively on the case

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — At least 3 arsons kept Portland Fire & Rescue crews busy through the early hours of Thursday, most in the same area where another arson was set one week ago.

The calls came in at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and at 1:30 a.m., 2:35 a.m. and 3:45 a.m., PF&R officials said. None of them did a lot of damage and no one was injured, but the last one had a higher potential of greater harm.

That one brought crews to the US Bank Tower on SW 5th and Oak. One stairwell was smoke-filled and some combustible material was found on the 6th floor. Fires in high-rises are particularly tough to battle for obvious reasons.

The other arsons were inside a business at NE 102nd and Sandy, where a burglary also happened. This is across the street from an attorney’s building that was set on fire January 9. That arson damaged a hallway at NE 102nd and Wygant but no one was hurt.

Two storage containers and portable toilets were set on fire at a construction site at North Maryland and Holman, Jan. 16, 2020. (KOIN)

Two storage containers and portable toilets were set on fire at a construction site at North Maryland and Holman. Then about an hour later, fire crews went to NE 140th and Oregon Court for a basement fire. This fire was called suspicious but not officially arson, authorities said.

“We want to catch this before it does end up in a big fire where someone gets hurt,” PF&R Lt. Rich Chatman said. “Some have been in residential areas where people are sleeping at night. With a few other developments in that fire we’ve got a completely different story and we’re dealing with a homicide.”

An active investigation is underway for all these arsons. Anyone with information is asked to call 503.823.4636.

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