86-year-old man dies in NE Portland house fire - KPTV - FOX 12

86-year-old man dies in NE Portland house fire

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Flames tear through the home on NE 69th Ave. Flames tear through the home on NE 69th Ave.

An early morning fire ripped through a NE Portland home, leaving a 86-year-old man dead inside and his son hospitalized.

It started just after 1:00 a.m. Thursday in the 800 block of NE 69th Avenue.

Firefighters say the adult son, a 48-year-old man, woke up choking on smoke, with eyes burning and to the sound of the smoke alarm going off.

The fire started in the front bedroom where he’d been sleeping with his disabled father, for whom he is the caretaker.

He started yelling to alert the rest of his family and tried getting his father out of bed and to the door, but the smoke was too thick and the fire too hot.  His father didn’t make it.

“It’s a horrible thought, let me tell you, it’s a horrible thought,” neighbor Lisa Nelson told Fox 12.

She understands better than most how quickly it can happen; she survived a deadly fire in NE Portland back in 1991.

Back then, flames tore through the Chasselton Apartments on NE 28th.  It was a 4-alarm fire that killed three people.

“I was never so glad to see a fireman in my life,” Nelson added.  “I figured I was going to have to jump out of a very tall two-story window.”

She awoke to Thursday morning’s fire a few houses down from hers because of her barking dog.  She went out into the street where other neighbors had already gathered.

Family members who had escaped the fire stood on the street.

“The neighbor here brought them hot tea and the neighbor here brought them blankets,” she said, pointing.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

The Red Cross said a family of four adults were displaced and confirmed the one death.

“Gosh, I just wish them the best,” Nelson said in tears.  “I pray for them.”

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