Portland, Ore. — Early Sunday morning, a 3-alarm fire at a northeast Portland church resulted in the reported deaths of two individuals. Portland Fire & Rescue responded to the incident in the 2800 block of Northeast 62nd Avenue, near the intersection with Sandy Boulevard, after receiving a tweet at around 4:30 a.m.
The fire originated in the church and spread to an adjacent home, as reported by residents next door. Approximately 10 minutes after the initial tweet, PF&R confirmed the safe evacuation of the home residents and the extinguishment of the fire in the home. However, part of the church had collapsed, leading fire crews to pull back from the structure.
Fire officials on-site later confirmed the tragic loss of two lives. The fire initiated in the church’s gym but did not reach the sanctuary. Attempts to evacuate people from the gym were hindered as that part of the building partially collapsed during entry attempts, forcing crews to withdraw and combat the fire from outside.
A tweet from PF&R around 6 a.m. stated that the fire was mostly extinguished, with crews addressing hot spots. Fire investigators had arrived at the scene to determine the fire’s cause. However, structural instability prevented investigators from entering the church at that time.
The incident remains under investigation as authorities work to understand the circumstances surrounding the fire at the northeast Portland church.