Two die in SE Portland apartment fire - KPTV - FOX 12

Two die in SE Portland apartment fire

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Two people are dead after an early morning fire in southeast Portland Friday.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation, but officials said it moved fast and overtook  the two people before they could escape.

The fire happened at an apartment building on Southeast Gladstone Street. Fire crews got on scene around 7:15 a.m. as smoke and flames were pouring out of the back of the building.

Tenant Tom Holiday was right next door to where the blaze started, and he said they had to get out quickly.

“We heard a bunch of noises, crackling, and smelled smoke,” he said. “We went and looked out and the fire was right next to ours, so we closed the window to our guest bedroom, grabbed out stuff and our cat and got out.”

Firefighters got the fire under control in about 30 minutes. Crews pulled two adults out of the building and medics rushed them to the hospital, where both victims died later Friday.

Officials said this fire was a sad reminder for people to make sure they have working smoke detectors and an evacuation plan in place.

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the two people who's lives were lost in today's early morning fire," stated Chief Erin Janssens. "I am thankful for the passerby that stopped and notified all of the residents in the apartment complex to evacuate, and the quick actions of our firefighters to stop the fire from spreading to the rest of building." 

Fire investigators determined that the cause of the fire was improperly discarded smoking material.

Investigators also released that the fire damaged an estimated 40 percent of the apartment unit.

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