PORTLAND -- A two-alarm fire Saturday night severely damaged a block-long Southeast Portland complex that housed 444 storage units.
Fire crews responded just after 8:20 p.m. to reports of smoke coming from a structure at 1202 SE 82nd Ave., according to Portland Fire and Rescue's Tommy Schroeder.
When firefighters from Station 19 arrived to search for the source of the smoke, they could see flames from the roof and hear small explosions inside the structure.
The incident commander ordered fire crews off of the roof and called for a second alarm to bring more emergency responders to the scene.
Photos: Storage units damaged in 2-alarm fire
"A passerby called this fire in, saying the air smelled like a campfire," Schroeder said. "Minutes later it grew into a second alarm. This shows the importance of calling 9-1-1 immediately if you believe there is a fire because seconds count."
The fire was brought under control just after 10 p.m.
With five fire trucks spraying 1,500 gallons of water per minute on the fire, eight inches of standing water accumulated in the storage complex. Firefighters were clearing drains and mechanically pumping out water in an effort to salvage whatever property they could.
Access to the facility was still not allowed Sunday afternoon, as the investigation was ongoing. Schroeder said it would likely take two to three days to complete.
Schroeder said affected customers would be contacted Sunday.
Raw: Cell phone video of storage unit fire
"Just two hours prior to this fire," he added, "firefighters from Station 19 concluded a 100th anniversary community open house that welcomed hundreds of citizens into the station to mark 100 years of protecting life and property in SE Portland."