Man killed in Gresham apartment fire

One dead in Gresham apartment fire

GRESHAM, Ore. -- One person was killed in a Gresham apartment fire Friday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 2:17 p.m. at Rosewood Commons near Southeast 11th Avenue. Crews first arrived three minutes after the report and saw a second floor unit in flames.

One woman threw her puppies out the second-story window before jumping to escape the burning apartment, according to Gresham Fire. She told firefighters a man was stuck inside.

Crews worked their way into the apartment but the man was dead by the time they arrived. 

Neighbors say the man who died is the significant other of the woman who jumped.

Gresham firefighters have not identified him, but neighbors say he is Daniel Guzman, who worked as a maintenance man at the complex. They say he was well-liked, funny, and always willing to help out.

Outside the burned complex, a small white cross stands as a memorial to Guzman.

“He was very upbeat, and caring as well, he had such a good heart and he’s definitely going to be missed around here,” said neighbor Mandy Howe. “He was fun loving, energetic very carefree, an all around good guy.”

Neighbor Jessica Collier was in the shower when she heard about the fire. “I looked out and I saw flames and I saw smoke coming out of it  was like an explosion happened!”

When she heard that a man died, she was devastated. “He’s just a good person all around,” she said. She immediately started a Facebook page to gather donations for his family, and for the other victims who can’t go home.

“I started it the day it happened because I knew our maintenance man and the people around him lost everything, and I know how it is trying to pick up all the pieces,” she said. She hopes to help pay for funeral costs for the man's family, and to help other families impacted by the fire, including a family with a newborn. 

“I’m asking people to donate clothes and hygiene products right now.”

Through this came stories of bravery, as well. A family who lives downstairs credits a 4-year old named Gavin for waking them up and saving their lives. They also want to thank a police officer and the Red Cross for helping them. 

The woman who jumped was taken to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland with respiratory issues, Gresham fire officials said. Neighbors also said her leg appeared to be shattered from the fall. 

No one else was hurt. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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