PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Police have released the names of the two men killed in an apartment fire on Sunday in Northeast Portland.
Robert William Gremillion, 31, and Seth Robert Thompson, 31, were both killed when the blaze swept through Heidi Manor on NE Weidler in the early morning hours of July 4. 6 other people were injured, including a 25-year-old woman who is still hospitalized with critical injuries.
Crews with PFR secured the structure on Tuesday, making it possible for investigators to go inside on Wednesday. There is no official cause of the fire, but PFR officials said it is possible fireworks were involved. Again, no official cause has been determined.
PFR Investigator Rob Garrison said they need to find out what happened to answer the questions everyone has.
“The families are very important. They want to know why this happened, could it have been prevented,” Garrison said. “Those are all answers our investigators are looking for.”
Jason Smith, who managed to escape the blaze, said the building was “just in flames. I sat here trying to find where my mom is. Just being there looking into that ball of fire not knowing if my family was alive or not, that’s hard. That’s scarring. I don’t think I’ll ever get over that.”
Smith said his mother and his niece jumped from a 2nd-story window. They were both injured but alive, he said. His niece remains in the hospital.
Garrison said it’s unclear how long investigators will stay at the scene.
“A scene this big, could be a day, but I’ve been on scenes like this where it took 5 days,” he told KOIN 6 News.
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