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Tenant arrested for arson after large Southwest Portland apartment building fire

The fire destroyed the May Apartments and displaced dozens of residents. The man arrested lived in the building, police said.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A person is under arrest and facing arson charges for setting the fire that destroyed a 113-year-old apartment building in Southwest Portland last week.

Thirty-year-old Garrett A. Repp was arrested Thursday evening, according to a Portland Police Bureau statement. He was a resident of the May Apartments.

Repp was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center and is facing charges of first-degree arson, reckless endangering of another person and first-degree criminal mischief. 

Portland fire crews responded to a large fire in a downtown apartment building at the intersection of Southwest 14th Avenue and Taylor Street on May 16. Residents were evacuated from the upper story windows using ladders.

Thick smoke could be seen billowing out of multiple upper windows of the 5-story building in photos posted by the fire department, and a plume of smoke could be seen throughout downtown. Flames could be seen at multiple points on the roof of the building as fire crews used ladder trucks to spray water at the building from above.

One firefighter was injured when a window blew out and a piece of glass struck his forehead and another was sent to the hospital with elevated blood pressure and remains under observation at the time, according to Portland Fire & Rescue public information officer Rick Graves. Everyone made it out of the building, but several pets died.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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