PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Fire crews responded to a fire late Tuesday night at an abandoned building in Northeast Portland, which investigators believe was sparked by humans.
Portland Fire & Rescue says the building, located near the Gateway Shopping Center on NE 102nd Avenue, was a fenced-off, abandoned two-story commercial space.
Collapses in the roof and first floor caused firefighters to take on the blaze from outside.
There are no known injuries. However, witnesses told crews they saw people running from the building — leading investigators to believe it was human-caused.
KOIN 6 News talked to neighbor Mary Robert, who says she has lived in the area for decades. Robert said a man and woman have been living in the building for a while.
She noted she was woken up to the smell of smoke Tuesday night.
“I live next to the field that could’ve caught fire and it can spread all the way down to the complex I live in,” Robert said. “They just need to start the security back up and make it clean again because, otherwise, it’s going to burn the whole neighborhood down at this rate.”
Last month, KOIN 6 News reported when a Starbucks closed a store at the Gateway Shopping Center because employees were having to deal with too many issues related to chronic homelessness and addiction.
The latest Portland police crime statistics show, in the last year, there have been 4,300 crimes reported in Hazelwood – including shootings, larceny, arson, vandalism, car theft and robbery.
When asked about policing efforts in Hazelwood, the Portland Police Bureau told KOIN 6 News the East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team is conducting monthly missions with businesses in the area. The agency added “we’re also providing support to City efforts to address camps. We don’t have the staffing/capacity to do anything new based on the ‘state of emergency,’ however we’re working with what we have to affect change.”
KOIN 6 News’ Jenny Young contributed to this report.