PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multiple buildings under construction collapsed overnight after a second-alarm blaze ripped through several of the structures in Northeast Portland, officials said.
Shortly before 2:15 a.m. Thursday, Portland Fire & Rescue were working the blaze at a construction site located on Northeast Killingsworth Street and Northeast 36th Avenue where crews said some of the structures had already partially collapsed.
Flames were encroaching on nearby powerlines, so the power company was called in to cut electricity in the area.
In a Twitter post, PF&R shared an image of one of the burned structures, saying its three-story high wall was at risk of giving way.
As several buildings were at risk of falling, firefighters were ordered to combat the blaze from outside what was considered the collapse zone.
“With the large volume of fire, there was a concern that burning debris was going to be taken aloft, float away, and drop onto a neighboring home. There was active direction to be attentive to this possibility and the fire brands, which are these floating pieces of wood on fire, were extinguished as they landed in the neighboring trees,” PF&R said in a later release.
When some of the structures did come down, the bureau said they, fortunately, fell away from the other structures and emergency personnel.
Firefighters managed to prevent flames from spreading to neighboring homes and put out the fire just before 3 a.m.
“The neighboring homes were nearly completely unaffected by the fire because of the focused efforts of crews on scene to split duties and compartmentalize the site,” PF&R said, in part. “Without crews focusing their efforts on the neighboring homes, this large fire of the structures under construction was certain to extend and cause damage and possibly force [the] relocation of the occupants of a single-family home.”
No injuries were reported and no residents were displaced.
The investigation is expected to begin later in the morning.