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Houseless tent fire spreads to four-story apartment building on SE Powell; no injuries reported

No one was injured in the fire.
Credit: KGW

PORTLAND, Ore. — A tent caught fire and spread to a four-story apartment building in the 2100 block of SE Powell Boulevard early Sunday morning.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R), the fire was contained before too much damage was sustained. The building had vinyl siding, which burns quickly. The fire activated a sprinkler inside the building but there were no injuries and no one is displaced.

Officials said the fire could have been much worse. However, there was some water damage inside. The fire began due to carelessly discarded smoking material.

Houseless/tent fires increased from one in February 2021 to 64 in April 2021. The latest data, recorded in May 2021 from PF&R shows 45 fires for the month of May. In May, it accounted for the most number of calls to PF&R, followed by trash fires with 42 calls in May 2021.

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“This building did have vinyl siding and our crews did do a great stop on this fire,” said Rob Garrison, public information officer with PF&R said in an email. “A few more minutes and the fire would have spread to the inside of the building.”

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