PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A two-alarm apartment fire Monday evening in Lake Oswego required firefighters throughout the metro area to respond.
A two-alarm fire signals that more than one fire squad will be needed. In this case, however, it wasn’t the fire that was hard to beat — it was the heat.
While the fire at Parkridge apartments wasn’t huge, it required a large response from three fire departments.
“Because we’re a smaller department, you know, we had assistance from Portland Fire, and also Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. It did go up to a second alarm just due to the size of the building,” Lake Oswego Fire Marshall Gert Zoutendijk said.
The flames broke out in one of the 39 units, as the temperature hit 96 degrees Monday.
“Our firefighters, you know, they have to exert themselves and fight in this gear, which is already hot — inside a hot, smoky environment. And then you get that 90-degree weather on top of it,” Zoutendijk said.
Zoutendijk also said the main reason they called for more firefighters was to have as many replacements as possible.
“Instead of being in there for 20 or 30 minutes, we’re doing like 10 minutes. And then they come out and have to hydrate and cool down because otherwise, we’re going to send firefighters to the hospital,” he said.
Fires amid such high temps like this, he says, can put a strain on the emergency system.
One person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation but is expected to be ok. The fire was eventually controlled.