Fire tears through U-Haul rental lot in SE Portland, endangers nearby home

Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 6:30 AM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Fire tore through a U-Haul lot in Southeast Portland, damaging several rental trucks early on Friday morning.

Crews responded to the lot at Southeast 49th and Powell at around 1:45 a.m., but Portland Fire & Rescue said the trucks were burning were so close together that firefighters weren’t able to get very close to the flames.

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A second alarm was called to attack the fire from above, but the crews on the ground were able to get the fire under control themselves.

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A nearby homeowner, Sumandhi Fox, said she woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t believe what was happening. Then the flames crossed onto her property and burned much of her fence.

“Came downstairs, opened the back door and saw that there was flames shooting out here,” Fox said. “Didn’t even put my shoes on, just ran out of the house with my dogs. I thought it was going to be two minutes before our entire house was going to be engulfed in flames. It’s a 1904 Victorian, it’s all built of wood. It’s only minutes where it would burn down.”

Fox said the city could have prevented the fire if they invested in safety for the area.

“This could’ve been prevented by having any sense of security whatsoever in this city,” Fox said. “We do not have that. We don’t have police who respond. We know who did this, we have them on camera. I could’ve died last night.”

Firefighters said no one was hurt, and while they are continuing to investigate, they believe the fire was started accidently by people who were attempting to siphon fuel from one of the truck’s tanks.