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Pre-arrival video: House fire in Portland, OR.

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The video above is from Pippin Beard & Kristen Kingsbury at It was shot this morning in Portland, Oregon.

Nicole Friedman, The Oregonian:

Three adults, a cat and a dog will need to be relocated after a no-injury house fire in North Portland this morning, according to Portland Fire & Rescue.

Crews have mostly knocked down the fire at the corner of North Hudson Street and North Oswego Avenue, but several dozen firefighters are still on scene, said Portland Fire spokesman Ron Rouse. Portland Fire responded to the fire at 8:25 a.m.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots, but those turned out to be from ammunition that was stored in the house, Rouse said.

PDX FlashAlert News:

… fire crews were dispatched to another house fire (9005 N. Oswego Ave.). Station 22 (St. Johns), which has a fire engine and a truck, arrived to a “fully involved house”, said Fire Lieutenant Stew White. Firefighters decided to make a transitional attack…. fighting the fire from the outside initially, and then going into the structure to put out the remaining hot spots. Engine 26 (Portsmouth), Engine 8 (Kenton) and Engine 24 (Swan Island) were also on the initial response. Truck 8 and Station 10(Burlingame) were also dispatched to assist with firefighter efforts.  

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    I love the police officer literally ASKING the cameraman to move back…”We’re gonna have a line up, OK?” Not the usual demands of “Get back! Get back!!”

    Once again, the most often misused term in the fire service: “arrived to a ‘fully involved house’, said Fire Lieutenant Stew White.”

    Ops seemed kinda disorganized…2 engines going for the hydrant, hoses laid out but kinks not removed.

  • OldSutterOne

    Someone, probably a truckie, thought to close the open door on the “D” side. Hopefully after a quick sweep at the entrance.

  • http://statter911 Glad to be Retired

    OMG just where does one begin, since we have video of the first arriving units! I guess since no comments were posted one can assume this may be the norm for the West Coast.I truly am at a loss for the entire video, the first due engine blocked the intersection perfectly! Then hand laid a supply ilne to the hydrant, suppose I thought with the volume of fire and involvement they would have connected to the steamer(BIG).
    The T-22 oficer jumped out bedazeled and half dressed and jammed the radio! Did not appear the truck driver thought to go to the A Aplha (Front) side as no wires would hamper the aerial being used, however from what the video shows they do not throw ladders so it is OK. I am appalled at their operational efforts and hustle. I see why no one from the west coast competes for jobs here on the east, hell you could work there 40-50 years based on this tradegy of events.Must be a good place though one of their finest is now in Charleston,SC.
    Do the taxpayers have any idea of what they should expect from a fire dept.I feel I must stop as I cannot type for hours on the basic’s of fire attack.

  • JustSayin’


    THAT was ruff.!!!

    Is this Portland, PA.???

    I’d list the less than quality actions but hate to
    steal the thunder of the regular crew of keyboard commandos.

  • slackjawedyokel

    kinda looked like eveyone just did their own ‘thing”

  • mark

    For a career department, this is extremely underwhelming. Then again, if you don’t even know what a fully involved structure fire is………I guess I shouldn’t expect a whole lot.

    As for the FB comment by the ER Tech, they never did get the fire knocked down in this video, so I hope you’re a better ER Tech than commenter on a fire video.

  • Scooter

    Agree with Glad to be retired… also 1 min 20 sec to get a line going (from the street! really!) everyone working on hydt connection… Lets get the line charged and in the house. Quick hit of the exposure and push in the front door… not standing in the street!!… Think a lot more burned than should have.. NOT IMPRESSED ! Strike Da Box! K


    Always nice to see a Truck officer arrive to a “column in the sky” working structure fire completely unprepared to go to work. Yeah, “career” doesn’t necessarily mean “professional”.

    Was this “job swap” day? Judging by the hose handling ops, it couldn’t have been the regular engine guys, right??


    I’m going out on a limb and say they were using a truck that failed the ladder test and had no reserves and the brave men were unprepared because they just digested an enormous amount of breakfast burritos that slowed them down….and I’m thinking the soldier driving the engine company blocked the intersection so their rival company wouldn’t be able to beat them in and compete for who lobs water from the yard first…and apparently in Oregon…a few cars in the driveway indicates the homeowners are away on vacation, therefore, no need to rush in and do a quick search….absolutely NO NEED!!!

  • Mark0501

    Hey Monday morning QB’s here is the deal, transitional attack with water on the fire in about one minute. T22 and E22 spot in their locations due to reports of wires down on the Alpha side. E26 is assigned to assist E22 with catching a hydrant. Hydrant is less than 50′ so it is appropriate to hand jack hose this situation. Portland does not use LDH and “BIG” steamer port connections are not needed in this situation. All occupants were accounted for, thus the transitional attack. “The guys standing around” are the standby team for the crews making an interior push through a well involved first and second floor. What the edited video doesn’t show; ladders to all 4 sides of the building, bars and plywood forced off the windows, searches conducted, additional lines to the basement on the delta side and vertical ventilation by T22 and T8. No injuries and everyone made it home. If you want to know what really happens take a moment to call a BROTHER who was there. Talk fire, learn, compare, network and yes maybe disagree. We all can work on improving our craft. However, sitting behind a computer screen picking apart edited videos and blasting a BROTHER is just weak. EXPECT FIRE!

    • mark

      OK, a couple questions.
      -Why would 2 engine companies be tasked with catching a hydrant 50′ away? Where I come from–non career–we dress a hydrant (when we have them) with 1 fireman, whether it’s in the front yard or 500′ away. 3 guys dressing a hydrant while no one is stretching a line to extinguish the fire.
      -All occupants accounted for, then you state searches were not shown because of editing. If the occupants were accounted for, why the searches that we didn’t see?
      -Does standby mean RITRIC? Or does it mean standing around as we saw?
      -Rather strange that all the edits occur when the bars are being removed, plywood taken off and ladders thrown. And 8+ minutes into the fire there were no ladders on at least 3 sides of the structure.
      -Did the videographer also (coincidentally) edit out the officer doing a 360?

      Or were the edits not chronological, even though they appeared to be?

      Other than that, and the half dressed truck company officer, great job.

    • Diggs

      Mark0501, Don’t waste your time. This site is totally MD/DC nut huggers. They’ve got all the answers, just ask them.

  • cappy

    Well said Mark0501. Many fires are in fact transitional and should be handled accordingly. For those of you not truly familiar with the concept, I challenge you to read the four part series on fire attack in fire rescue magazine by brother meuller. The fourth part of the series is in the current issue of fire rescue magazine and online with links to the previous three parts. It’s a good read for those that are open minded enough to learn something new.

  • on the job

    why would the first due engine park that way and block the whole intersection.

  • Mark0501

    Ok let’s see if I can make this a little more clear. While enroute dispatch advises that the occupants are accounted for outside the structure. E22′s size up includes a three sided view of the structure. E22 with the assistance of E26 hook to the hydrant while E22′s B team stretches the attack line for the transitional attack. Water goes to the well involved first floor in about one minute. T22 infact takes a 35′ ladder to the delta side to the roof for vertical ventilation. What you think is the RIC team “standing around ” is in fact the standby team protecting egress for the attack line that has transitioned to the interior. There is no need for them to push there way in and jamb up the interior making it more difficult for attack crews. The safety chief and E8 arrive and complete a 360. E8 is assigned RIT gathers equipment, ladders all sides, forces bars and plywood off the windows while interior crews search. Crews searched for unknown occupants and pets, and as a rule we don’t let camera men come interior on our fire attacks and searches. You will have to trust me on this. As for the “half dressed” truck officer. How do you know they weren’t on the air when the box came in? Maybe he should be commended for not taking his seatbelt off to get dressed while enroute! Just a thought. As for the video you see it ends after E8′s arrival which was about 6 minutes after dispatch. What you see is cuts of video here and there. Believe me there was no standing around! Video is a tool not the entire story. Again, ask someone who was there. Pick up the phone, reach out. EXPECT FIRE!

    • mark

      Again, ask someone who was there.

      I did, thanks for the details. Still a little confused, but thanks.

      I didn’t “think” it was RIC, I asked if it was. Like you said, ask someone who was there.


    what’s the point of handjacking a supply line back to the hydrant….did anyone catch the hydrant to supply the 1st due engine or did they rely on hydrant pressure alone to supply them…..despite water flowing within a minute….why does the engine company lob water from the yard….wouldn’t going inthe door on side D make more sense instead of pushing the fire to the back of the house or is that the assignment delegated to another company….transitional or whatever you call it…i thought being fireman whether volly or career was to grab a line and go put the fire out….too many books and magazine articles out there that have 500 different names for attacking a fire…unreal….and Mark…don’t be so thin skinned..this is blog and we comment on what we see…..stay safe brother!!!!

  • Scooter

    Still not impressed with getting the first line going and inside… hitting it from the street….. Cool the exposure quickly and make the push… Strike Da Box k

  • cbj

    Mark0501: To address the “Officer” without full PPE allow me to offer some common sesne. First off, I do NOT advocate dressing while enroute or riding without belted in. I have witnessed far too much disregard for this on-going practice by cowboy companies. An SOP directing apparatus that is “on the road” for whatever reason to pull over at a reasonably safe location, finsish donning PPE, then continuing in makes far more sense. It sure makes for better organization upon arrival, not to mention the appearence of being ready. Why wait until you arrive, unpreparred for immediate action? We all know radio reports can be wrong, way wrong. I have to agree with the hydrant discussion as well. That is a one person position regardless. As for the rest of the situation, well, I don’t think there is any profession as critical as ours. That’s sad. You make a good point about video editing and such. Take it in stride, but thank you for offering the information to celar up what was assummed. “Digg” makes a good point.


    So basically a transitiomal attack is squirting water from the street and into the flames…got it #NOTaNutHugger

  • http://statter911 Glad to be retired

    Hey DIgg there are planty of firefighters beyond DC/Md, in fact if think about it assuming you ad your cronies can think outside the box. YOu have Va, NY , Mass, Pa etc and yes they all firemen and yes they all do not do everything the same, but they do put out alot of fires with great success. I understand everyones disgust with media quarterbacks and I hated too when my agency got slammed. I just heard about an intern program in Detriot which you all could send department memebers to engage with a opportumity to reduce overtime in the windy city. After you all learn the basic’s you can then send battalion commanders for some training, you do call them battalion’s don’t you? Just remember all what has happened to the fire service has left a huge void of experience and clearly most of you are victims.

  • OMGpdx

    Mark0501 your drinking too much of your own kool-aid. T22, was a disgrace to truck companies. That was a horrible spot by the truck. No way for the truck’s tools used proficiently when placed that far away. If occupants were accounted for, throw ladders and get your butt on the roof. There is no need to bs us, this was not done. There was not a 360, by a t22 member. You through a ladder to D side of the house but, had the B & C side right in front of you to access and get to the roof. The roof looked very stable and a vent hole could have been cut a lot earlier. You mention t8 through ladders to all 3 sides and a chief did the the 360. Glad no one was hurt, but if my brothers were going interior I would want ladders for egress and a hole for ventilation cut a heck of a lot sooner!

  • p_b

    Hi all, I’m the videographer who shot the footage. I have no knowledge of firefighting, just happened to be a neighbor to catch it right when it started. I will say that E22 was parked where it was due to overhead lines (that’s what I was told by one of the crew when I was on the scene, anyhow – and there were lines down where they wanted to park it). I added an interview I conducted with the Lieutenant afterward that might be of use to you all as well:

  • Firefighter700

    I work for Portland and I agree with some of the criticism, I think the initial engine should have focused on fire attack pulling a line and letting the driver take the hydrant, the next engine could have provided the initial standby team and by splitting the crew assisted the hydrant. Once rit is established the standby team becomes the backup line. The truck work was not well documented as it sounds like it occurred on the charlie and delta sides so I cannot comment on it, I also do not know if the truck crew was split or all were assigned ventilation. I would have preferred the initial attack line to be closer, but I agree with hitting the main body of fire before entry. A fog nozzle on straight stream will not push fire. By passing the fire and working inside out would have been a mistake as you would have forced yourself to work in high heat and smoke around debris while trying to extinguish a large body of fire with limited access through the front door. It is unfortunate that it progressed to the second floor flashing. Speculation on access issues, lack of aggressiveness, or lack of situational awareness are just that speculation at this point. The 360 is usually done by the firefighters, safety chief or rit. Command, the first arriving officers, are discouraged from performing the 360 due to potential distractions (I only concur if a firefighter is tasked to perform the 360 early) waiting for rit or the safety chief could be too late. The officers do not dress while responding there is no pack in the front and space is usually limited and they should be focusing on response route, hydrant locations,pre-fire plans etc., on the other hand we are not going to delay our prepared firefighters by stopping prior to arriving at the scene. Thanks all Be Safe

  • p_b

    As a side note & on a political front, Engine 22 is being proposed to be cut from the current city budget & instead be replaced with an SUV manned with two firefighters. Basically a vehicle that is totally and completely inappropriate to deal with a situation like this one. The next nearest Engine would have taken at least a minute longer to respond to this house fire. Without being critical of how the perceived work was done with this fire, what are all of your thoughts regarding that kind of change? We’re needing to convince the powers that be that this is not an acceptable cut for our community.

  • nozzlehead

    you don’t push fire. There is no scientific evidence to prove this. it is a myth. water puts fires out and not chainsaws.

    • mark

      Yes and no.

      If one does not have enough volume of water to overcome BTU’s, it can be pushed, as can the superheated gasses, smoke, etc. That’s why hydraulic ventilation works.

      If one can overcome the BTU’s you would be correct.