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Historic Roseway Theater heavily damaged in early morning fire

Portions of the building are said to have collapsed during the three-alarm fire. Portland Fire and Rescue crews are on scene and have yet to determine a cause.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The historic Roseway Theater in Northeast Portland was severely damaged after a fire broke out on Saturday morning.

Portland Fire and Rescue says firefighters were called to a fire at the theater at 5:48 a.m., and they arrived to find the building covered in black smoke. Upon entering the building, firefighters began searching for the fire when the floor began to collapse and flames started to burn through the roof of the building.

After calling for a third alarm, at least 80 fire personnel responded to the scene. Fire crews were forced to use aerial ladder trucks to extinguish the fire from above due to the severity of the situation inside the building, according to Portland Fire. There appear to be no reports of injuries or deaths.

Credit: Portland Fire and Rescue

Portland Fire reports the fire is currently under control and that fire investigators are waiting for the building to stabilize before they can begin to search for a cause. Crews will remain on scene throughout the day and it's expected that the investigation will take several days.

"Events like these force us to further stretch our firefighting resources and the public is asked to be especially vigilant as todays weather poses a significant risk for fires to start and spread quickly," the agency said in a statement. "In short the summer fire season is here and were busy, so please help us by being fire safe."

The Roseway Theater was originally built in 1924 and opened its doors in 1925.

Many neighbors in the community stopped by to get a look at the damage, expressing their heartbreak to see such an iconic place go up in flames. 

"The Roseway Theater — it's a really special place to me and my son. We've come here many times," said Randall Hobson. "It's such a neighborhood kind of place ... it wasn't a big mega theater where we have six films playing. It was just one thing — and it just had such heart."

"I was just devastated, it's made me sick to my stomach," said Dodie Davies, "I've been in this neighborhood for over 30 years and the theater is iconic to his area." 

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