Investigators: 2-alarm fire in downtown Portland unintentionally - KPTV - FOX 12

Investigators: 2-alarm fire in downtown Portland unintentionally started by roofers

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(Photo: Portland Fire & Rescue) (Photo: Portland Fire & Rescue)
(Courtesy: Kathy Moyd) (Courtesy: Kathy Moyd)

Investigators determined a 2-alarm fire at a historical highrise building in downtown Portland was unintentionally started by workers installing roofing materials. 

The fire occurred Sunday morning on the roof of a building at Southwest 10th and Alder. When Portland Fire & Rescue crews arrived at the Woodlark Building, they found large amounts of smoke and flames coming from the roof.

According to Portland Fire & Rescue, roofers were using a propane torch to dry the roof deck so they could apply a solvent-based primer. Investigators said the flame came into contact with some of the primer that had already been applied and ignited it. The fire then spread to a large stack of rigid foam insulation. 

PF&R said six fire extinguishers were used before crews arrived, but the fire was too large. 

The building is vacant and under renovation, according to Portland Fire and Rescue. Contractors were there at the time and were the first to report the fire. 

One worker was injured while attempting to extinguish the fire. PF&R said one of the worker’s hands, which was covered in the primer, came into contact with the flame. His second-degree burns were evaluated and he was treated and released at the scene. 

Crews extinguished the fire and conducted "overhaul" to assure that the fire is out and will not rekindle later.

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