PORTLAND -- Two houses caught on fire in Southwest Portland Monday afternoon, fire officials said.
Crews were called just after 2 p.m to the report of a fire in the 4400 block of Southwest Vesta Street.
Callers to 911 reported hearing a transformer explosion just before the fire. But investigators later said that they thought the fire was sparked by oily rags which were not properly disposed of.
The reports of explosions heard from original 911 callers is believed to be propane tanks. No electrical transformers were damaged as originally reported, said Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Lt. Rich Chatman. Fire investigators have sifted through evidence, testimony from residents and neighbors and have determined that the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion from oily rags left out on a wood deck.
No one was injured in the fire.
One of the homes sustained major damage and the second was partially damaged, Chatman said.
A neighbor caught some of the fire on video with a cell phone (below). WARNING: graphic language.