Portland, Ore. –Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a commercial fire in the Madison South Neighborhood shortly before 2 AM. The fire occurred at a single-story strip mall, housing a closed restaurant space on one-third of the structure’s western edge and a large Asian Market on the remaining two-thirds of the 20,000 square foot building. A third alarm fire was declared, resulting in a total loss of the structure. Fortunately, no injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

Upon arrival, the first engine company observed smoke emanating from the roof of the structure above the closed restaurant space. A tactical decision was made to launch an offensive fire attack, with crews entering the space despite many windows being boarded up with plywood. However, the interior crews faced challenges due to moderate heat and thick smoke, leading the command officer to order a withdrawal from the structure and initiate a defensive fire attack from outside.

As the incident progressed, three trucks on the scene surrounded the structure, connecting water lines to hydrants to facilitate the operation. However, the demand for water pressure strained the available supply, necessitating the deployment of additional engines to increase pressure. Concerns about overhead powerlines prompted a request for Pacific Power to cut the electricity for safety.

Although the flames had not breached into the market twenty minutes into the incident, heavy smoke indicated significant fire activity overhead. Tactical decisions shifted from defensive to offensive, but the intensifying fire and risk of structural collapse prompted the evacuation of nearby homes and a request for a third alarm.

With the arrival of third alarm companies, the fire was brought under control, and residents were allowed to return to their homes. The incident was officially recalled 90 minutes after the initial response. Thankfully, there were no injuries reported, and no displacement resulted from the fire. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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