Portland care facility residents thank first responders who saved them

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 4:55 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A four-alarm fire on May 11 last year tore through a roof at iHome Care & Dialysis, where 24 elderly residents, including Gordon Forthan, were sleeping soundly that night.

Around 1 a.m. in the morning, Forthan heard banging at his door.

“‘Hey! There’s a fire! Gotta get outta here.’ I thought I was dreaming,” Forthan remembered.

Portland firefighter Richard Lyman rescued him from the burning building that night and Gordon’s sister, Evelyn Green, couldn’t be more thankful.

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“I put my arms around him and dragged him out the backside of the building, made sure he was safe,” Lyman said.

“It’s just a wonderful feeling. I’m just grateful. It’s hard to describe because he’s still here with us and it could’ve been, everybody could’ve been gone, so I’m just grateful,” Green said.

Nearly one year later, the crew got to see the progress being made on the building that was destroyed and residents got to thank the first responders who saved their lives.

“I was saved by the Portland Fire Department!” Forthan said.

Firefighters said there were plenty of heroics on display that night - calling Tim Spencer a ‘the real hero’.

He works at iHome Care and Dialysis and was the first person to brave the flames and get people out.

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“These residents are my family, you know, these are people I care for and stand beside every single day and oversee their care. It’s like my mom and dad in there,” Spencer said.

The owners said it was an electrical fire in one of the vents that caused $2 million worth of damage, but the building will be finished in the next few months.