Wednesday, May 31, 2017

News from the Portland Fire & Rescue Office of Public Information: Busy Memorial Day Weekend (Photo)


News Release from Portland Fire & Rescue
Posted on FlashAlert: May 31st, 2017 6:12 PM
Downloadable file: House Fire 7829 SE Carlton
Downloadable file: Investigator Rob Garrison
***News from the Portland Fire & Rescue Office of Public Information***

One Busy Memorial Day Weekend

The term "PF&R crews" is one you often see in press releases. This term refers to all of the pieces of equipment and personnel that respond to emergency incidents in the city. This includes fire engines, ladder trucks, battalion chiefs, quick response rescues, specialty squads, deputy chiefs, air supply & rehabilitation units, public information officers, and members of the Arson Investigation Unit.

PF&R's Arson Investigations Unit keeps track of all fire activity and today they were still busy tracking information and compiling evidence and witness testimony to understand the details behind the multiple fires that happened over this Memorial Day Weekend. According to Investigator Rob Garrison "I can't remember the last time we've seen so many incidents happening concurrently for this many days in a row."

What Investigator Garrison is referring to is the 15 working house and/or apartment fires, 9 miscellaneous fires and 5 vehicle fires (including one fatal vehicle fire) along with hundreds of medical calls and other requests for 911 service. These "medical calls and other requests for 911 service" included a very difficult scene for crews who attempted, with all they could, to save the lives of three men who were tragically attacked on a MAX train in NE Portland.

Each of the days that comprised the Memorial Day Weekend had one or more moments in which crews were scrambling to cover multiple fires happening concurrently; that activity carried through with a second alarm house fire on NE Rocky Butte Rd early Tuesday morning.

Operations Chief Tom Williams said of the busy weekend " Our men and women put a lot of hard work in this weekend, often without getting any rest from the incident they had just finished cleaning up from just prior and on one of the hottest weekends we've had all year. I'm proud of their resilience and their determination."

It's hard to speculate on why so much activity this weekend. The first warm weekend of the summer? More people out of their homes? Late spring cleaning or yard projects? It's anyone's guess. One thing is for sure, the Arson Investigators are still working hard to figure out why so many fires happened and how to prevent busy weekends like this in the future.

Memorial Day Weekend Fire Stats:

-29 total fires
-9 miscellaneous fires
-5 vehicle fires
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