Crews respond to two-alarm house fire near Peninsula Park - KPTV - FOX 12

Crews respond to two-alarm house fire near Peninsula Park

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(courtesy Andrew Callaci) (courtesy Andrew Callaci)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

An explosion completely destroyed one home in north Portland Monday and caught another one on fire, fire and rescue officials said.

Portland Fire and Rescue crews responded to the 6400 block of North Kerby Avenue a little before 3 p.m. and said when they arrived one home was already gone.

“We heard a big thud,” said Denise Everett. 

Crews found a victim suffering from life-threatening injuries. 

“He wasn’t in very good shape,” said nearby neighbor, Graham Parks. 

Parks who got to the scene before first responders, said it looked like the victim was either outside during the blast or thrown from the home. 

PF&R officials also said a firefighter suffered minor injuries in the response.

Just after 4 p.m., officials said a team from Northwest Natural had stopped gas flow to the home that exploded and that crews could now work more aggressively to put out the fire and save as much of the second home as possible.

Miriam Hernandez right next to the home that was destroyed and told FOX 12 it felt like an earthquake when the house exploded.

“The explosion was really loud, and then you could just feel it like vibrate through your entire body,” she said. “We thought at first it might've been the gas stove, potentially. Then we thought it might be an earthquake or something, so we walked outside and that's when we saw the house that was just gone.”

Hernandez also said that she knew a family lived next door but did not know if they were home at the time of the explosion and fire.

“When you see something like that, you just wonder if someone can make it through that,” said Hernandez. 

Other neighbors, waited anxiously at Peninsula Park until they could get back into their homes. 

“We have a cat inside that we’re pretty worried about him,” said nearby neighbor, Heidi St Clair. “I guess one of the windows blew up so we're just worried about the cat right now.”

Portland Bureau of Transportation officials advised drivers to avoid the area.

The explosion happened adjacent to the Peninsula Park Community Center, and the pool there is now closed. Officials with Portland Parks and Rec said they made the move because so many streets are blocked off and they wanted to steer visitors clear of fire and rescue crews.

The community center itself is open for now but will be closed after camps are done for the day. Parents picking up their children should plan for delays due to closed streets and congestion.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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