PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Friends and strangers are coming together to help a group of roommates who lost their home early Thursday morning when a fire ripped through their Northeast Portland home.
“At about 12:30, I woke up to smoke in my room and got out of bed and the window busted open and flames started coming in,” Kiefer Williams said.
Portland Fire and Rescue responded to the fire shortly after 1 a.m. in the 5000 block of Northeast 11th Avenue.
The flames engulfed the house, even bringing down a power line above it.
“Everything was up in flames, to the attic, in the basement,” Williams said. “It’s hard to put in to words.”
Crews were able to contain the fire to one interior room and the front porch.
The 3 occupants of the house managed to get out safely, but 2 were evaluated on scene for smoke inhalation. Lt. Damon Simmons said they had no symptoms and declined to go to the hospital.
“We have some salvageable belongings but all of my clothes and money and phone is all gone,” Williams said.
Possessions weren’t all that was lost in the fire, crews managed to save a snake, but Williams’ bearded dragon died in the fire.
Investigators know the fire started on the porch but are working to figure out exactly what caused it. Williams told KOIN 6 News he there was a cigarette left burning on a couch.
“And that was right outside my front window and that’s why I think it was so bad in my room,” Williams said.
The roommates don’t have family in town, but friends offered them a place to stay and neighbors, many of whom Williams has never met, are eager to help.
“Within 30 minutes the neighborhood had already come over and brought us clothing and shoes,” Williams said. “It was really nice. It was really awesome to see everyone come out and help us and support us.”