Portland fire victims trying to rebuild as investigation starts
Some residents lose all their possessions in apartment fire
PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The investigation into what started the fire that tore through The May Apartments in southwest Portland officially started Friday.
Days after that devastating fire, ash and rubble still litter Southwest 14th Avenue.
“Just to think about the fact I was sleeping there just a few days ago is pretty scary,” René Montero-Dugger, who survived the fire, said.
Montero-Dugger said it’s hard to believe the place she called home for a few years went up in flames, along with priceless memories.
“It’s absolutely devastating,” she said. “I think at this point, my brain hasn’t even fully comprehended the fact that I no longer have a home or any of my things. All of my family photos were in there. A lot of my childhood is now gone because this place has burned down.”
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Portland Fire & Rescue investigators are trying to figure out exactly what caused the life-changing blaze. The Scappoose Fire District’s drones, which can help create 2D and 3D maps inside and outside the building, are helping. The drones allow them to determine fire patterns, behaviors and keep everyone out of harm’s way.
“It’s too dangerous for folks to enter the building,” Scappoose Fire chief Jeff Pricher said. “We’re hoping to utilize some technology to get into the building to capture the images the fire investigators need.”
Montero-Dugger, her dog Winston, and other survivors continue to work to rebuild their lives after this tragedy.
“They’ve put so much effort into it automatically and I’m so grateful they’re looking into it,” she said. “I’m very fortunate in the fact that I have friends that can take care of me and I can lean on them. But I know a lot of people maybe don’t have the same support system I have. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for them.”
She urges all the victims to add themselves as beneficiaries to the official GoFundMe page so they can access the funds they need.
“The GoFundMe is thankfully already, I believe, at $15,000,” Montero-Dugger said. “As long as residents can get to that and add themselves as a beneficiary, everyone should be taken care of, at least to a degree.”
If you’d like to help Montero-Dugger and Winston, you can also donate to their GoFundMe page.
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