Portland firefighters use heat-sensitive cameras to help put out - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland firefighters use heat-sensitive cameras to help put out massive fires

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As firefighters continued working to put out the final flames of a warehouse fire in north Portland they had to get creative to get the massive blaze under control.

Video posted by Portland Fire & Rescue’s Twitter shows how firefighters used what’s called a FLIR camera on one of their fire boats. 

Firefighters said the special camera on the boat from Wilsonville-based FLIR was used to help contain the massive warehouse fire that broke out under the Fremont bridge late Sunday night. 

They said the camera is heat sensitive and allows them to find his spots in a building so they then know exactly where they should shoot water at. 

“So with all the smoke and in the middle of the night, we know where the hottest part of the fire is,” Lt. Rich Tyler with Portland Fire & Rescue explained. “And then the fire boat knowing then where those are at inside the building, it can direct its large diameter hose streams right into those areas and be able to work on extinguishing that fire.”

Earlier this year, deputies with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office used a FLIR camera to help track down a man wanted for or possession of methamphetamine.

While the fire is under control, there were still hot spots slowly burning as of 4 p.m. Monday.

A team of investigators is still trying to figure out what sparked the fire. Just after 5 p.m. Monday, investigators reported that they thought the fire started below the warehouse in the pilings that supported the structure.

The investigators noted that there have been reports of activity in that area, including warming and cooking fires. They are asking anyone with information on the activity in the area Sunday or in the days leading up to the fire to contact the Tip Line at 503-823-4636.

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