PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An arson investigation is underway after an explosive device was thrown under an RV in Northeast Portland, resulting in a destructive blaze.
Portland Fire and Rescue crews responded to reports of an RV fire on Northeast 33rd Avenue near Northeast Sunderland Avenue shortly before 5 a.m. on Monday. Once they arrived, they learned people in the area had already extinguished it on their own.
However, that was not all the firefighters learned.
Crews discovered this was not a fire simply sparked by a candle or heater — but by an explosive device. Arson Investigators from PF&R and Portland Police Bureau were promptly called up and quickly arrived at the scene.
Clifford Reitenbaugh lives in an RV along Northeast 33rd Drive by Sunderland Avenue. He woke up to the explosion this morning.
“It’s about an eighth of a mile away and I felt the concussion on the ground when it went off,” Reitenbaugh said.
According to the PPB, early information suggests a suspect or suspects in a large yellow box truck, which they say is possibly a moving-style rental truck, “drove by and threw or rolled an explosive device under the RV.”
Reitencaugh said this kind of aggression has been going on for months, and puts people on edge.
“We’ve been having a lot of hate crimes lately from the public. It’s hard to deal with, especially when they blow your windows out,” Reitenbaugh said.
He added “a lot of it is…the trash. People do need to pick up after themselves.”
That’s why he says he spends his days cleaning up after everyone, but there’s only so much one man can do.
Officials said one woman was inside at the time but was unharmed.
Authorities are seeking the public’s help with this investigation. Anyone with information, witness accounts, video or photos that could assist is asked to call the tip line 503-823-FIRE or e-mail Detective Meredith Hopper at Meredith.Hopper@portlandoregon.gov. Please reference case number 22-102510.
This is a developing stoy.