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Fire in SE Portland destroys three semi-trucks

Portland Fire & Rescue officials are investigating the exact cause of the fire.

Surveillance cameras captured video of fire engulfing three semi-trucks at a repair shop in Southeast Portland, Thursday morning.

“Today's a hard day. It's a hard start to a new year,” said Daniil Shapovalov, a mechanic at VH Truck Service.

Shapovalov was just pulling into work Thursday morning as the fire started and quickly called 911.

Surveillance video doesn’t show anyone inside or around the Freightliner Cascadia, the first of three semi-trucks to catch fire. Instead, flames appear to have started suddenly up front near the cab.

“Something electrical most likely,” said Shapovalov.

Minutes after the first truck caught fire, the video shows a big burst of flames as the second truck's fuel tank explodes spreading flames to the third semi-truck. Firefighters worked fast to put out the fire as Shapovalov and his co-workers watched.

“Probably today was the first time I experienced what real shock is,” Shapovalov said. “You don't know where to go, what to do, who to call.”

Shapovalov said a neighbor grabbed the keys to a fourth semi-truck parked nearby and drove it away from the burning trucks.

Besides the three big rigs, the fire damaged a van and pickup truck. Shapovalov said insurance should cover of all of it and no one was hurt.

“You got to move on,” said Shapovalov. “Thank God it's just metal and metal can be replaced—people can't.”

Portland Fire & Rescue officials are investigating the exact cause of the fire.