At least 16 people were evacuated out of the front of the structure and 8 more victims were safely evacuated by firefighters from at attached two-story building, saving everyone in both buildings and preventing a horrible tragedy, officials said.
The fire broke out just after 1 a.m. at Hope N Care, located at 12045 S.E. Pardee St. Officials said the fire had the potential to be a mass casualty event had it not been for care facility employees and Portland Fire & Rescue’s firefighters, who together evacuated everyone in the building and prevented a horrible tragedy.
“I want to express my deepest appreciation and thanks to everyone that was involved in this successful, lifesaving operation – Our IAFF Local 43 Fire Fighters at Portland Fire & Rescue, the Hope N Care staff, Portland Police Bureau, AMR, TriMet, Red Cross, and mutual aid partners Clackamas County Fire and Gresham Fire,” said Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty who oversees the Fire Bureau.
Hardesty said the timely response saved lives and underscores the importance of a well-resourced Fire Bureau that maintains 4 person crews.
“These dangerous fires demand extra resources throughout the entire City and I’m thankful to all that stepped up to ensure the continuation of services for all Portlanders while this rescue operation was underway,” Hardesty said in a prepared statement.
Fire Chief Sara Boone also commended firefighters along with the heroism of two on-site employees who risked their lives starting the initial evacuation of the residents under heavy fire conditions.
There was no word on the cause of the fire which is under investigation