MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. — Flames forced people to jump from their windows, some from the third floor, after a fire broke out Tuesday morning at the Glendoveer Estates apartments, located on the Portland-Gresham line in Multnomah County.
The fire happened about 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday.
Brothers Christin and Disean Mann both jumped from the second story window, and say other people jumped from other apartments, too. "We woke up to the fire, there was an explosion," said Disean.
One man had to toss his daughter out the third-story window to Christin, outside, who caught her. "My friend threw his daughter down," said Mann. "I caught the girl. I tried to catch him, but he was too heavy he ended up breaking his ankle."
Neighbors said the girl is OK. Firefighters rescued a 3-year-old boy from the third story, using a ladder. The boy was taken to the hospital in a private car.
A man and a woman were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, firefighters said.
One firefighter also stepped on a burning balcony and fell from the second floor to the ground. He is OK, according to Gresham fire.
Gresham fire said it appears the fire started on a bottom unit and spread through the building. The preliminary investigation indicates the fire was accidental.
Firefighters said five people were living in the unit and the unit did not have electricity. They told investigators they were using candles, but there’s no official word yet on what started the fire. It's still under investigation.
The fire caused propane tanks to explode, firefighters said, and flames quickly went up the side of the building and into a hallway on the second floor, forcing people to escape from windows.
"I heard someone say call 911! Call 911! I looked out there were flames everywhere!" said Zoee Shearer. She had to escape the building.
The fire caused severe damage to the side of the building. Firefighters said at least six families will not be able to go home right now, because of the damage. And it appears the apartment where the fire started is a total loss.
The Red Cross will help the families affected.