PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Firefighters were on the scene of a fire in the Kenton neighborhood that started just after 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night, according to Portland Fire and Rescue.

The fire began near the corner of North Denver and North Lombard Street at the abandoned Farmer’s Barn Tavern. PF&R says the tavern is listed as an unsafe building, so they had to fight the fire from the outside without entering.

The fire began at the abandoned Farmer’s Barn Tavern near the corner of North Denver and North Lombard Street. April 19, 2023. (KOIN)

An unsafe building classification means that “the structure is potentially dangerous for interior firefighting activities due to the condition of the structure in question,” according to PF&R.

It also means they were unable to confirm whether anyone had been inside the building, officials say. However, firefighters told KOIN 6 that they did not see anyone.

The first crew to arrive said there was “significant smoke” coming out of a cinder block walled structure, and “fire was showing through many of the boarded-up doors and windows with heavy smoke pushing out of cracks and spaces on each wall.”

By the time firefighters accessed the roof, they say flames had already pushed through the center of the roof. A crew made a cautious entry to find the source of the fire, which has yet to be determined.

Outside of the building, flames eventually grew so large that “power to the area was interrupted by the power company for safety as flames were impinging on elevated power lines,” according to PF&R.

Officials say water was applied for 90 minutes outside of the building while crews increased access to the fire inside the building by tearing down walls.

Westbound traffic on Lombard Street was reopened 2.5 hours after the fire began, but eastbound traffic and North Denver remain blocked. Authorities say the roads should reopen in the morning.

Officials say there have been eight smaller fires at the building in the past year, but none this size.

KOIN 6 previously spoke with neighbors concerned about camps in the area, as the shelter across the street faced long waiting lists.

That shelter just began renovations in early April and will be closed until 2024.

This is at least the fifth serious fire at an abandoned building in Portland just this year: At an abandoned duplex in the Lloyd neighborhood last week, at the former Elks Lodge building in Northeast Portland the week before, at an abandoned building on Northeast 100th in March, and at an old Korean church in downtown Portland in January.

Stay with KOIN 6 as we receive more information.