Fire Rips Through Old Elk Lodge In Portland
Portland, Ore. — Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a second alarm fire at the Former Elks Club in the Gateway Neighborhood at 2 a.m. on Thursday morning. Upon arrival, crews saw heavy fire showing through the roof of much of the building. The building had been previously responded to by Portland Fire & Rescue due to past fires and incidents. Due to the knowledge of structural instability and the significant amount of fire showing, a defensive fire attack strategy was employed.
Although there were reports of people running away from the structure as crews were enroute, the first arriving crew did not see anyone running from the building. Doors were forced open to ensure that there wasn’t anyone on the inside trying to get out of the building. No injuries have been reported.
To battle the fire, three aerial master steams were established to apply water to the fire, and large hand lines were stretched to be used when a wall collapsed, allowing for water to penetrate the structure and cool the flames. The crews in the buckets reported that the entire roof had burned through and that the master streams were able to apply water to the entire inside of what remained of the building.
During the firefighting activities, safety concerns arose as many sections of the exterior walls were falling, and heavy smoke posed a threat to responders. Two hours into the incident, much of the fire was extinguished. The decision was made to pare down the responders on scene to two aerial master streams to prevent any large flare ups while the heavy timber legacy construction material burns itself out.
Portland Fire & Rescue will be on scene until the fire is determined to be completely extinguished. The Fire Investigations Unit will arrive after daybreak to begin investigating the cause of the fire.